Who knew that all you needed to do to end social injustices was to hand a police officer a Pepsi during a protest? Unfortunately Pepsi didn’t exactly think their new ad featuring Kendall Jenner through, because it really isn’t that easy.
Several brands have gotten away with using social issues in their ads by doing it right, but this is not the case for Pepsi. Their first problem was choosing the wrong spokesperson for this type of ad. Kendall Jenner would be the perfect fit for any other Pepsi ad because she is a very well-known face, however she is not well-known in the world of activism. She rarely takes stands on social issues and has never been the face for activism. If Pepsi wanted to an ad that had to do with activism but with a well-known face, they should have chosen a celebrity who speaks out about those kind of social issues regularly.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter, Bernice King, tweeted about the ad saying “If only Daddy would have known the power of Pepsi.” The ad was released on the anniversary of MLK’s assassination, which put a little more salt on the wound since it trivializes protests.
Eventually, Pepsi pulled the ad and issued an apology for it. They apologized for missing the mark, but did not apologize to the movements like Black Lives Matter for making light of their struggles. They also apologized to Kendall Jenner for putting her in this position, even though she is an adult who agreed to be in the ad and got paid for it.
Currently, social media is not buying into the apology and are still outraged by the ad. Many people are even making jokes involving, Pepsi’s competitor Coca-Cola