FAIL: Kendall Jenner's Pepsi Ad
As if I needed another reason to love Coca-Cola and hate Pepsi, this happened.
So before you read this, watch this:
If you haven't heard about Kendall Jenner's truly tone deaf ad for Pepsi— where have you been? This commercial was all over social media and the news. Twitter was ablaze with outrage and confusion. All over this 2 and 1/2 minute commercial. Why?
So let's look at this video from a critic's perspective. Like it's a movie or something. If it were, I'd give it a rotten tomatoes score of 1%, and that's only for the looks Kendall was serving when she was modeling.
So basically there's three characters, two people of color and one person... without color, Jenner. The two people of color are creatively frustrated with their desired mediums (guitar and photography). And while this is happening.... there's a protest in the streets. Although you probably couldn't tell, because it looks more like a music festival with no performers. Everyone is having a gay old time, laughing and dancing and waving their pointless signs ("join the conversation!").
Of course Kendall Jenner is having a photoshoot next to this protest, and she gets so interested in it that she decides to stop modeling and whip off her wig (that's where that 1% came in) and "join the conversation." This crowd of people of color protesting gleefully is now led by none other than Jenner, while the two original poc from the beginning are now photographing her and playing music in the crowd. And how does it end? Jenner gives a Pepsi to a police officer and he smiles and accepts it.
Don't you wish life was like a Pepsi ad?
The issues with the commercial are threefold:
1) The choice of actress
2) The events they tried to mimic
3) The overall tone
So first, the actress. Have you ever seen Kendall Jenner advocate for anything? Ever? How about her siblings? Maybe like once? Kendall Jenner was the wrong choice for this ad because she's literally voiceless. The girl is publicly passionate about nothing. If she wanted to be a convincing featured actress in this commercial (or one like it), she should have spoken up when people were being arrested across the nation for protesting police brutality. But she didn't, and she doesn't. Sorry, girl.
Then, the events. We know that protests do not go nearly as well as they did in that commercial. People get maced, beaten to the ground and arrested. Just for congregating peacefully. See Black Lives Matter protests for more information on that. Even worse, the image of Kendall Jenner handing a police officer a Pepsi and being photographed looked pretty similar to the photo of the arrest of Leisha Evans at the Baton Rouge protests.
Like, wow. From a public relations major's standpoint, this is a laughable mistake. Like. Guys.
Do people think? We live in a day and age where you can't afford to leave the decision making to a room full of one type of person. Do you think a person of color okayed this Nivea ad?
The third thing wrong with this commercial is the overall tone. Look at all those smiling faces in the crowd. The dancing. The upbeat attitudes. The ice cold Pepsis in the cooler. Everyone's high fiving and celebrating... nothing.
Why did the producers of this ad paint protests as something trendy? Do you see the two women having brunch in front of the crowd? Like, really?
Notice how Kendall Jenner looks so interested in the protest that she's like, "Wow this looks like more fun than what I'm doing— modeling— might as well join these people!" There are people who don't have a choice BUT to protest. They're scared for themselves. Angry for their families. Worried about their children.
But y'know. Protesting is the new brunch, according to Pepsi.
I could honestly rant about how more people of color are needed at the decision making stage for ads like this, because all I would have needed was a plot synopsis and I would have told them to cut it.
But I'm more of a Coke girl, so this is kind of a good thing.