The Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner is an example of how the modern world and its narratives are shifted because of centric billion-dollar corporations. The advertisement is a failed attempt to capitalize off the protest culture in the United States. United States has a history with protest and throughout the history it has been the point of inception of many ideological revolutions. From the waves of feminism to the rights of the blacks and the minorities, United States has been the flag bearer.
The advertisement came out in 2017 and it was immediately pulled out because of the backlash it received. The advertisement features a millionaire white model, Kendal Jenner, as headliner and several other people as side cast belonging to different groups. The advertisement calls on everyone to join the revolution that is being depicted in form of protest. The revolution is unnamed. The protesters then take a charging stand against the police, but Kendall Jenner grabs a can of Pepsi and walks towards a police officer and hands it over to him, ending the police brutality (wow!). The police officer grabs the can, drinks it, and gives an appreciative grin while the crowd cheers for ending the discrimination and tyranny by just a Pepsi can.. The critics remarked that it is precisely opposite of protesting police brutality in the real world. In fact, the police department of the United States has been a part of oppression of minorities throughout the history.
The scene where Kendall Jenner, a white model, gives a can of Pepsi to a police officer was an attempt of Pepsi to show “solidarity” with a brave black woman, Ieisha Evans, who bravely stood up to police in a BLM protest. The problematic aspect of this imagery, as mentioned by the audience, is the history of model, Kendall Jenner, who apparently never raised her voice in support of BLM movement, yet she profited off this ad.
Another reason why this ad got so much hate from the people is that Pepsi has attempted to minimize the amount of brutality and the frustration the protestors face by the hands of the police. The ad, in a way, tries to represent the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, but the media and people targeted Pepsi for capitalizing off such a sensitive issue in an idiotic way. As the advertisement is clearly an attempt of the corporate world to capitalize the oppression and pain of minorities throughout the history. This attempt failed and the public backlash is a sign that people have are waking up to the subliminal programming done by the media agencies.