There is nothing wrong in making an ad on cultural diversity and fighting for harmony and peace but mocking the ideals of social justice is. While dealing with the sensitive issues like race, gender and identity, you have failed to address the sensitivity of the issue lying at hand.
Yes, we are talking about the new Pepsi ad which has fallen flat on its mission to promote cultural diversity and resistance.
The new ad ‘Jump in’ features Kendall Jenner in Pepsi’s moments campaign. The description of the ad on Pepsi Global’s YouTube Channel states: “A short film about the moments when we decide to let go, choose to act, follow our passion and nothing holds us back.”
Unfortunately, Pepsi pulled the ad after the criticism saying: “Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologise.”
The ad shows one cellist, a brown photographer, and Kendall who are busy in their routine work as the protest march passes by. As the cellist joins a popular pianist group and the photographer walks out her house to join the protest, Kendall is seen ditching her wig and grabbing a can of Pepsi to join the crowd. As she is welcomed by the crowd, she comes forward and gives the can of Pepsi to the policeman who takes it and smiles back, followed by a loud cheer from the crowd. Yes, that’s all from the ad.
Well, we wish real life to be that simple for all.
While Pepsi is adamant to prove that the ad stands for harmony among the people from all walks of life, the ad has unlikely caused backlash over twitter. There is huge social media outcry for the ad and it all makes sense. The racist approach of the ad conveys strongly the superiority of white over black. Meanwhile, the image of Kendall giving a can of Pepsi to the cop draws sharp parallels with the famous image of Ieshia Evans from real-life protest for Black Lives Matter in Baton Rouge. The ad seems to be mocking the images and is seen disrespectful and derogatory to the movement.Apart from the race, the ad doesn’t seem to resonate with the idea of resistance. Its senseless and completely baseless to conclude a greater cause with a Pepsi can and proving it to be a solution for ending disparity. Pepsi seems to be rather narcissist in its approach rather than justifying its idea of social justice. Where brands are focusing on bigger ideals of equality, justice and fighting racism, Pepsi has failed to make a mark for itself… and what an epic fail it is.
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