Keeping up with the Kontroversy


Earlier this month Pepsi made news headlines with a recent ad they released. The ad which stars Kendall Jenner has caused such an uproar that Pepsi in return has released several apologies, as well as having pulled the ad itself.

The commercial begins with a quick view of the scenery and the city it then leads you to an overview of a man playing his cello and a woman looking over her art. The Ad then quickly moves us to what one may believe would be one of Jenner’s photo shoots, all the while an empowering song plays in the background stating “We are the movement”.

The video moves back and forth between what appears to be a black lives matter protest and Jenner’s photo shoot, (conveniently placed on the same street).

The ad moves on to show both the man and woman from before seen joining the protest, the man carrying his cello and the woman bringing her camera.

As the ad continues Jenner is seen wiping off her lipstick and running to join the protest going on outside. You see people of all races, genders, religions, and sexual preferences represented in this Ad, so what’s the problem?

The problem is that following this empowering and hopeful look on unity and equality, Kendall is seen reaching for a pepsi, fist-bumping a black man, and then handing a can of Pepsi to a riot officer. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? Well after handing this officer the Pepsi the crowd erupts in cheer as if Pepsi was all we needed to fix our problems. The protest was then ended and their problems were solved. If only Pepsi could have seen the problems they had created.

Elle Hearns a former organizer for Black Lives Matters said the ad, “plays down the sacrifices people have historically taken in utilizing protests.” She was also quoted saying, “That’s just not the reality of our lives. That’s not what it looks like to take bold action.”

Many were angered and many spoke out about the ad, Even Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter Bernice King had a few things to say about the ad. But for now I believe pepsi’s best option is to stick to apologizes and maybe not such controversial topics when it comes to selling soda.