an imagined treatment for that Pepsi ad…
We open on a cellist playing his music atop a skyscraper. Generation Z knows no limits to what they can accomplish. For them, inspiration comes from anywhere, even the top of a building.
We hear a Bob, no Ziggy, wait, make that Skip, yeah Skip Marley song play. As Skip intones that Gen Z is a protest generation that will rise up with love in their hearts, we cut to shots of a rally mounting in the streets. You can feel the energy and optimism. It’s not clear what exactly the rally is for, but people don’t care, this is a generation that loves to protest as proven by the ample protests that have happened all over the world lately.
The protestors in our march are all different creeds and colors, as Martin Luther King once put it. Their signs contain peace signs that are in the color of the Pepsi Logo, because Pepsi is about peace and Generation Z is about peace.
As the protest builds, our camera cuts to a striking young artist in a hijab. She pores over contact sheets of photos she has clearly taken. But there’s something inauthentic in her work. Generation Z hates inauthenticity. And Pepsi is the voice of Generation Z. Pepsi is never inauthentic. We call her Nadya.
Generation Z hates inauthenticity. And Pepsi is the voice of Generation Z. Pepsi is never inauthentic.
Now the camera cuts to none other than Kendall Jenner. Kendall is the epitome of Generation Z. We see her in a blonde wig in a photo shoot. She is posing for a camera and yet we also sense she is posing in life. There’s something missing in her eyes. Some essential resonance. She feels inauthentic in her wig and make up. Kendall looks past the lens of her photographer and watches protestors pass her window.
As Bob, I mean Skip Marley, wails about the purpose of Generation Z, we see an ambiguously ethnic cellist — the one who seemingly started our journey on the building top — struggle to find inspiration in his beautiful and tasteful studio in a Georgian building that happens to overlook a main thoroughfare in this unidentifiable American city. It’s clear that this cellist, let’s call him Xander, is like Nadya the photographer and Kendall. They are united not in their diverse backgrounds but in their universal desire to embrace love and peace and find inspiration. By participating in a love and peace rally, they can find the spark to ignite their art work and cast off malaise. Generation Z does not like Malaise.
They are beyond labels. Just like Pepsi. Unless we are talking about our actual label which is important to our branding.
Now the ad picks up pace.
We realize that every member of this protest is an artist, even if they are not professionally artists, their souls are artistic. An impromptu band starts. Xander joins in with a knowing smile. He feels he is part of something larger than himself. Kids break dance in the street. Nadya takes photos. We see her eyes fill with the light of possibility.
It’s at this point that Kendall realizes she can no longer abide the monotony of her photo shoot. She cannot bear another moment of inauthenticity! Kendall tosses off her wig and joins the march of ambiguous love and peace.
As she walks through the crowd in suddenly a different outfit made of patchwork denim that reflects this patchwork crowd of colors and creeds, Kendall grabs a Pepsi. Is she going to drink it? Whose Pepsi is it? Generation Z doesn’t believe in ownership. Generation Z doesn’t believe in binaries either. They don’t ascribe to political systems. They are beyond labels. Just like Pepsi. Unless we are talking about our actual label which is important to our branding.
Kendall carries her Pepsi with her. She smiles full of the love of the moment. She approaches a line of police. These cops aren’t militarized. Under their rugged veneer of professionalism, we sense love and peace. Generation Z sees good in everyone. So does Kendall. That’s why she bravely walks up to the police and hands one of them a can of Pepsi…
(This moment should feel like that photo taken of the girl in the prom dress walking up to police during one of the black lives matter protests. We instantly recognize the moment, except it’s Kendall.)
As Kendall hands a young Latino cop a Pepsi, Nadya the hijab’d photographer captures the moment. We get the sense that this moment, this simple and profound moment of handing over a Pepsi could be the beginning of real love and peace in America. Sometimes it just takes a Pepsi to overcome generationally-entrenched, systemic racism and other problems.
The crowd erupts in a roar of authentic peace and love when the police officer drinks the Pepsi. They know that real change can happen now. Real change starts with authentic peace and change and Pepsi.
As our story ends, we see a line of peaceful ethnically ambiguous young protestors who have gathered for ambiguous reasons. Kendall is with them. Across this vision of hope we see the following words:
Live for Now.
With this message, Pepsi will position itself as the unofficial drink of Generation Z.