Kendall Jenner’s controversial protest ad for Pepsi was pulled off after a huge social media backlash. The company pulled it off from their YouTube channel while releasing a statement on Wednesday.
People didn’t seem to like Kendall’s first Pepsi debut so much, the public figure received a huge social media backlash for the protest themed ad. The company admitted it “missed the mark,” and it really did, by far.
“Live for Now Moments Anthem”
On Tuesday, Pepsi released a new commercial featuring Kendall Jenner. Following the brand’s live for now spirit the company titled the ad “Live for Now Moments Anthem.” The YouTube description read, “a short film about the moments when we decide to let go, choose to act, follow our passion and nothing holds us back.”
The ad featured Skip Marley’s “Lions” and 21-year-old supermodel, Kendall Jenner. The Pepsi advertisement shows a group of people during their everyday lives, among them, the central story, of course, is Kendall’s, who’s pretty busy during a photoshoot when she catches a glimpse of a protest happening just around the corner.
Moved by the spirit of the march happening around her and the young protesters, which are all millennials happily clapping and smiling and holding peace and love signs, Kendall decides to pull off her blonde wig, remove her dark lipstick and join the group.
She meets them and all of the sudden grabs a Pepsi and handles it to a police officer who receives it and drinks it, putting an end to the “protest” making everyone smile and cheer while celebrating.
Backlashing them all
With the commercial, Kendall was about to become the first supermodel since Cindy Crawford to have a global Pepsi campaign, but the world said, “girl, bye.” After the releasement of the ad, social media ignited with comments and people either laughing at it or harshly criticizing it. It was also discussed in Tv shows, breaking the internet.
The world seemed to stop and rant about the ad’s content and the fact that Kendall was part of it, creating a PR nightmare for the young model.
Before the PR fiasco, Kendall proudly spoke about the ad, “The spirit of Pepsi – living in the ‘now’ moment- is one that I believe in. I make a conscious effort in my everyday life and travels to enjoy every experience of today.” Not helpful at all.
Some people criticized the fact that the ad banalized today’s protests in general, by portraying them as a party or something more like a Coachella fest. Of course, there are some joyful moments in a protest when you meet with people with similar regards on the issues you believe in, but protests are generally trying to address or bring attention towards a social problem and not a party.
This comes as a deep dish, given the country’s political climate and the many protests taking place in it. It’s like banalizing and taking it everything that is happening around us as a joke. Even when the protest signs didn’t make reference to a specific protest, people linked it to Black Lives Matter and Anti-Trump protests.
Turns out the solution for the world’s issues, revolved around a Pepsi
Now let’s focus on the image of Kendall holding the Pepsi can to the police officer and basically with this gesture relieving all the tension in the protest. People linked this gesture to the award-winning photo from a Baton Rouge, Louisiana protest against police brutality last July. But in the real world police officers don’t drink the Soda and laugh they arrest the protester.
It was a lot to handle and Pepsi realized it did an awful job. The day following the unveiling of the ad Pepsi stated, “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize. 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.”
Pepsi’s message of living the moment seemed to not to hit the right target. By trying, awfully wrong, to incorporate many aspects of “living in the moment”, the company banalized a socially important issue, which is the one that brings people together in the ad, the protest and raising their voices.