The best way for companies to share their messages is by creating advertisements, such as commercials.
We will be taking a look at Pepsi’s 2017 Live For Now controversial commercial, starring Kendall Jenner.
Pepsi’s advertisement begins with someone opening a can of Pepsi. Then it shows a cello player playing on a rooftop. The ad then shows a group of protesters marching down the street.
The ad then displays Kendall doing a photoshoot and the group of protesters marching by her. Kendall appears to be increasingly focused on the protest during her photoshoot.
One of the protesters nods at her, signalling to join in. Kendall leaves her photoshoot abruptly and joins in with the protesters.
Not long after the protesters reach a police blockade. Kendall grabs a can of Pepsi and makes her way to the front of the protesters.
Kendall then decides to approach the police blockade and hand an officer the can of Pepsi. The police officer takes the Pepsi and drinks it the protester begins to cheer and rejoice.
The Live For Now ad, made it seems like Kendall Jenner resolved the protest with a can of Pepsi.
Although it’s not clear what the protest was about, we can assume that it was about peace, love and joining the conversation based on the signs being held in the ad.
What happens when the advertisement displays a different message than what was intended?
After posting this ad, Pepsi had quite the backlash of unsatisfied viewers. Many viewers felt uncomfortable and started creating articles, tweets and video reviews about the ad.
Due to the backlash of The Live For Now ad. Pepsi had to remove it from the air and internet within 48 hours of posting.
Pepsi’s actions are a prime example of a company failing to research and connect with its target audience before making an ad.
As per Pepsi’s statement, they were trying to display their brand as a unifying product but completely missed the mark.
Based on Pepsi’s statement the ad was meant “to project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding.”
After reading Pepsi’s statement, I can see how they believed that their ad displayed the message of random moments when people decide to let go, choose to act and allow nothing to hold them back.
My biggest issue with the Live For Now ad was that Pepsi made itself look like the cure for all social problems. This ad undermined real-life protests and police brutality.
Based on the release time of the ad, it appeared that it was co-opting protest movements such as Black Lives Matter. Pepsi Live For Now ad did not sit well with social media users.
Did you find Pepsi’s Live For Now ad to be controversial? Comment below.
Did Pepsi Miss The Mark in their 2017 Live For Now ad? Check out my WordPress blog https://bit.ly/3ght8Sf To learn more about Pepsi’s controversial ad.