Pepsi released a commercial on Tuesday that spiked conversation about its trivialization of the significance and urgency of current social issues.
While the company was attempting to send a message of love and peace, they instead made less of the important protesting that has spiked in numbers since the election of President Trump.
The now pulled commercial featured reality TV star and model Kendall Jenner. While it had a promising start, the video took a quick turn for the worse. Not only does the message not include direct meaning, it makes light of protesting, features a white privileged lead and acts as though police brutality can be fixed with a can of carbonated liquid sugar.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologize,” Pepsi wrote in a statement released Wednesday. “We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
Clearly, you did miss your mark Pepsi.
Protesting is not full of happy-go-lucky, beautiful, smiling people. Protesting is led by people who are angry about what this nation has become. Peace, love and unity are something to fight for. Yes, there are peaceful protests, but even so, the representation in this video is nowhere near similar to the real protests happening around the world.
The apology to Kendall Jenner is nice but sadly misplaced. She is a consenting adult who decided to participate in this advertisement. She may not have been involved with Pepsi’s creative team but she still got paid to promote what was essentially white privilege.
How about releasing an apology to all of the activists and, most of all, the movement that appeared unimportant in the ad?
We don’t join simply because someone nods us over. We don’t carry signs that have no adherent message. But most of all, a globally advertised fizzy drink definitely isn’t cause for an uproar of cheering and happy endings.