Pepsi’s Advertising Vs. United’s Branding

Recent weeks have seen some major companies in full crisis mode. United Airlines had a number of highly visible missteps, culminating in the forcible removal of David Dao, MD, a paying customer, from one of its flights. That was a debacle seen, first on social media, then on news sites, around the world. Pepsi ran an ad, featuring Kendall Jenner, that offended many and had to be pulled. Very few people saw the ad on television. (Most of those who did, apparently, liked it.) Still, it was sufficiently offensive to enough people that it had to be killed. The two brand names, viewed together, serve as an interesting illustration of the difference between advertising and branding — and why one is so much more powerful than the other.

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