In this month's episode of WTF...
Ok- we know we're only a week into April, but we're certain that this ad will be the ultimate WTF moment of the month.
Seriously- what the actual f&@÷, was Pepsi thinking with this ad? As a millennial, I don't know what offends me more: Their assumption that my generation is uninformed & totally oblivious to how dire humanity's situation is, or the idea that I'll forget and forgive their assumption because they rock a good tune and throw attractive people in my face.
Don't get me wrong- coming from a design and photography background; I will be the first to admit the video itself is aesthetic AF. From the cut scenes to the music and visual composition, everything should have led this video to (positive) viral success. This chance should have been increased when they decided to feature a Kardashian-Jenner clan member (note: I fucking love Kim). It did succeed, but not for the reasons they hoped.
They totally missed the mark and somehow glamorized some serious (even life-or-death) shit going down in the world right now. From institutionalized racism, police brutality, gas attacks, and now missiles being launched. But hey, let's just give everyone a carbonated drink. Even though we have politicians whose rhetorics are sounding like remnants of Nazi Germany, a Pepsi will defs make 'em drop all that drama and start loving everyone.
I understand what Pepsi was trying to do with this ad. I can see why it got approved by the ad agency, communications team, and any other executives that were involved in the decision-making process. They tried to inspire a message of hope and change. They wanted to invoke a sense of unity. Unfortunately, people fighting for civil rights and the freedoms for everyone isn't a 'trending' topic. It's not the latest fashion accessory, nor the top hashtag being used among the youth.
Real life people are risking their lives to make sure the future is better for everyone, no matter their race, gender, orientation, etc. Protesting is not a fad. The imagery Pepsi tried to depict is real life, with real people. Not a Hollywood movie. I think Pepsi missed that memo.
With all that said, they did create a sense of unity. People from all over came together online and united over their hatred for the ad.
Martin Luther King's daughter got involved in the conversation. His daughter! I hope this is a lesson to all brands out there. Make sure you're aware of the message you're sending with your content. Know your message, and know your audience.