This morning, Pepsi released an ad (they are calling it a “short film”) which attempted to harness various social #Resistance movements as a way to sell a soft drink that doesn’t taste as good as Coke.
The premise is as follows: a protest is swelling in the streets (complete with protestors holding Pepsi-blue signs that say things like ‘Speak Up!’ and ‘Revolution!’) and people from all walks of life are drawn to it.
A hot cello player stops playing his cello! A woman wearing a hijab stops looking at her photographs! Kendall Jenner stares at the protest in curiosity and then, catching the eye of the hot cello player, takes off her blonde wig and joins the (extremely well-behaved and respectable) fray.
As a song by Skip Marley (Bob Marley’s grandson) plays, Kendall Jenner walks to the front of the crowd and hands an angry policeman a Pepsi — an overt reference to the now iconic image of an African American woman peacefully starring down riot police in Baton Rouge last year. Contrary to her family’s insistence on wearing cornrows, Kendall Jenner is a white woman. Otherwise, it’s just like that other thing!
But, you know. With more Pepsi.
As you can imagine, people are pretty mad that movements protesting police brutality, racism and the threat against women’s rights are being appropriated to sell a soft drink. Just because the word ‘resist’ is trending, doesn’t necessarily mean it makes good advertising fodder — it’s trending because things suck more than usual/the things that have always sucked have finally attracted some attention!