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Why Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi Ad is a Complete Fail

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

 A few weeks ago, Pepsi unveiled a new ad with pride and confidence. Unfortunately, the ad was so unsuccessful that Pepsi had to pull it from air. It was all anyone was talking about for the days following the release.

It seemed as if Pepsi wouldn’t be able to recover from this PR disaster (hello United Airlines, I’m also talking about you) as dozens of people proclaimed on social media that they would renounce their Pepsi loyalty in favor of Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper and other soft drink companies that Pepsi is in stiff competition with. Many people wonder what went wrong; others thought that there was an uproar over nothing.

In my opinion, after viewing the ad, I could honestly say that Pepsi was trying to do the right thing. I think their message was clear, they wanted to demonstrate a sense of unity between the opposing forces. However, it was the person that they used and the gestures made that ultimately led to Pepsi’s downfall.

Firstly, Kendall Jenner was the main face of the commercial. I believe that Pepsi thought that she is who their chosen demographic wanted to see—a famous trendsetter who represented today’s youth. Yet the only issue with that is the fact that as popular as she may be, she has not used her strong platform to voice her opinions on the various movements presented in the commercial.  If she did, then perhaps the results would be a bit more positive.

There are dozens of popular advocates and celebrities who do use their platforms for good. If Pepsi had used one of them instead of Kendall, I think the commercial would be way more successful.

Secondly, handing a soft drink to the opposing force is definitely not going to solve the problem. If it could, I’m pretty sure that soft drinks would be sold out in a matter of minutes at a time. Using a soft drink as a symbol of peace almost  trivializes all the movements that were presented in the commercial. It’s as if to say, “don’t protest, just grab a soft drink,” which is why it didn’t sit well with so many people.

Finally, Pepsi only apologized to Kendall and not to the various organizations that were offended, which comes off as being insensitive. In the end, I think Pepsi learned from its mistakes and will strive to create a better commercial next time. I’m pretty sure that the company will be more mindful of the way it delivers its message.


Photo Source: thinkprogress.com

Attending one of the best Universities out there. Majoring in advertising with a passion for Reading, Writing, Traveling and making a difference.