In a two-and-a-half-minute spot, Pepsi manages to squeeze in all the things millennials can’t seem to get enough of: protest signs, Kendall Jenner, other hot people, and a bunch of frustrated artists living in enormous apartments.
To the sound of Skip Marley’s “Lions,” everyone displays their unique, special talents on the streets. Because what’s a protest if not a disturbingly color-coordinated good time? No one seems to be getting a sponsored vibe from the coolers of glistening soda, because they’re just there to start a conversation about … something. They seem to be saying, “Who knew fighting fascists could be so flirty?”
I think world peace just happened.
But the real work hasn’t begun until Jenner rips off her blonde wig, slips into a Canadian tuxedo, and cracks open a Pepsi for a confused looking model, er, cop. What are they fighting for? Who knows. When do they want it? Whatever.
We're just as confused as you, dude.
We could probably go on eviscerating this ad until the end of advertising itself. As you might expect, social media is already serving that vital function.
For now, it’s a lot more manageable than the alternative, which involves recognizing the unnerving way it co-opts Black Lives Matter imagery, most notably the iconic photo of police in full riot gear arresting peaceful protester Ieshia Evans.
Protests and their corresponding social movements are born out of real frustration and fears. To deny or belittle that reality is to deny the reality of those who struggle the most—all for a can of soda.