Pepsi ad falls flat

Jessica Salinas

Last week, Kendall Jenner single-handedly ended police brutality, racial violence and tensions with a can of Pepsi.

The American fashion model and television personality was featured in a short-lived Pepsi advertisement. Jenner played a (meta)model who casts aside a photo shoot and accompanying blonde wig to join a diverse rainbow of street protestors against police brutality.

Jenner saunters through the crowd on an invisible catwalk. She approaches a line of stoic police officers; and then, she gives a good-looking officer a flirty smile and a can of Pepsi.

The officer opens the can and takes a drink. Cheers erupt among the crowd of protesters and everyone hugs each other.

The officer turns to his cop buddy to smile and shrug his shoulders in a ‘what can you do’ manner—as if he is helpless to the power of sugar water and Jenner’s carbonated charm.

Jenner did it!

America’s decades long struggle with police brutality, racial violence and racial tensions is over—if only the power of Pepsi had been realized sooner.

Pepsi pulled the ad after tremendous social media backlash and universal revulsion.

The company had this to say in a statement,

“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 pulling the content and halting any further rollout. We apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”

As Jenner is the face of the ad, she will be blamed for Pepsi’s misdeeds. In actuality, the entity to blame is capitalism.

The ad appropriated and trivialized social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter to sell soda; it was an out-of-touch attempt to appeal to a young and diverse audience.

Billion dollar corporations such as Pepsi are not concerned about what’s good for the public; they are only concerned with what’s good for them—making money through any ads necessary.

The company’s pathetic attempt to promote “unity, peace and understanding” only caused outrage and revulsion.

Through the appropriation of police brutality and racial violence and tensions in order to sell their products, these harrowing issues that have plagued America for decades are diminished to a two-minute caricature.

Pepsi certainly missed its mark.