Let us also hate the smaller details of the Pepsi ad
Everything about the new Pepsi ad is repugnant and insulting, okay? The two supporting characters to Kendall Jenner’s lead role are (A) a hipster cellist who beckons her to join a “protest” and (B) a hijab-wearing photographer whose moment of triumph is capturing a celebutante model hand a cop a can of soda. The cumulative effort is the single most repellent video I’ve seen since I watched an actual beheading.
But! Let’s not get bogged down in think-piece territory. There are lots of LITTLE things to hate about the video, too. And we should appreciate every terrible detail.
“Join the conversation” is a blank-box social media prompt. It is not something you would put on a sign for a public demonstration, even if that public demonstration were for something as nebulous and inoffensive as LOVE or PEACE.
“Hey, you coming to the peace rally?”
“Yup, got my Join the conversation sign and some cans of soda.”
“Perfect, that is everything you need for a protest in free democracy.”
WHO MADE THESE SIGNS?
It started as a circle with a line through it, but there doesn’t appear to be anything inside the circle, because the people who made this commercial couldn’t take the chance of being actually AGAINST anything, even if they were going to slap a heart over it to show that love conquers all.
“NO HATE? Whoa, slow down! We’re pro-love, but we’re not anti-anything. Nazis can love, you know. And they deserve the fresh taste of Pepsi as much as the woke millennials whose business we so desperately crave.”
WTF? “JoTin The conversation”? Hey, the milquetoast invitation for discourse wasn’t half-assed enough, let’s shittify it an extra 15% with a nonsensical design flourish.
“Hey man, made that LOVE sign you wanted.”
“Looks like the lettering was too small the first time so you painted over it and gave it another go.”
“And the second time was also not large enough to fill the sign.”
“Listen, I didn’t have all day.”
Bullshit fucking fake-ass spacious protest. “We’re marching for peace … and elbow room!”
AD EXEC 1: Y’know, not ALL young people like protesting. Can some of them just be, like, eating pizza?
AD EXEC 2: Should they get up and join the protesters? It doesn’t really fit with Kendall’s narrative.
AD EXEC 1: Fuck no, they’ve got pizza.
Kendall Jenner’s mind is blown as she sees middle-class people for the first time!
KENDALL: Ew, what’s that smell?
PA: I believe that’s a mix of debt and diplomas.
KENDALL: What and what?
OH SNAP. Kendall has shed the artifice of wig and lipstick to join the FIGHT to, uh, join a discussion about love? I feel so empowered! And thirsty!
Welcome to the protest! Everyone’s marching with plenty of space on a pleasant day in Los Angeles, but we have a hydration station that may or may not dehydrate you (the science is still kinda iffy, don’t look it up).
What’ll it be? We have Pepsi, Silver Pepsi, Pepsi Blakk, and Pepsi in bottles. Just some ice chips? Okay, but they’re not water. 100% Crystal Pepsi.
Step back from this article for a second, dear reader. Place aside your immediate thoughts of the protester-police unity achieved by Kendall Jenner giving a handsome cop a Pepsi (even though there wasn’t tension between the crowd and the cops before this, because that would have taken some sort of narrative risk). Table, if just for a moment, the emotional and political flashpoints of Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, the Women’s March on Washington, conspiracy theories about paid protesters, and the increasingly fraught existence of basically everyone in America except for a small percentage of exceedingly wealthy people.
Consider, instead, the marketing team behind this. This was born in a brainstorming session, or perhaps in an executive’s mind as he watched a throng of angry, desperate people stand up for what they believe is right. This is a branding opportunity, someone thought, fanning the flames of a garbage can fire in Rome.
If I can give Pepsi any credit here, it’s the notion that a pretty white girl born into money and fame is the best person to bridge the gap between protesters and police. We could have really used her in Ferguson.
I’m sure she was busy.
Yeah, totally. Join the conversation.