What’s Up With Pepsi?

At least they got attention, right?

So, last night (Tuesday, April 4th), Pepsi decided to release this new ad last night. According to AdAge, it “was created by PepsiCo’s in-house content creation arm, Creators League Studio.” But before we talk about it, let’s all watch it again just in case we missed something.


Pepsi has pulled the ad and has released a press release on Wednesday (April 5th). They state they were “trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize.

So according to Pepsi, you can end various social injustices by just drinking or giving a Pepsi Max to someone like a police officer. Lets just say, people were not that receptive to it at all. If you have been on Twitter since the ad was released, then you had to have seen a comment about it or a news report on it.

It even has a parody by SBS Viceland.

So, what is up with Pepsi? Did they really think this through? Also, what would have happened if it was released during the Super Bowl? Would it still have been getting the same feedback and backlash from consumers?

My Opinion:

I think this resembles many of the politically and socially driven ads that we see everyday, but they chose the wrong way to convey the message. If they would have chosen anther person other than Kendall Jenner, I think it would have been received better. If they would have chosen a different approach to it than by just handing a Pepsi Max to an officer, it would have been received better. They could have just gone another way and have shown a more positive outlook on life, it would have been better received than how it is currently being received at the moment. I’m not saying brands should stay out of social and political opinions, but if they do decided to use that as a way to convey a message, they have to make sure its the right thing at the right time. I think Pepsi is just glad they didn’t do it during the Super Bowl. They would have been teared to pieces online.

Like it was previously mentioned, this was an in-house ad so this comes directly from Pepsi. I’m guessing they needed a consultant and they didn't focus group it well, if they did focus group at all. All I will say right now is that they nailed the music because it is stuck in my head.

In a Nutshell:

If you want your brand to “Stay #Woke,” don’t try to force it. Specially on Millennials with an ad trying to fix the world by using a carbonated soft-drink like Pepsi Max. Also, add some storytelling elements to your ads and make sure you talk with your PR department.