Pepsi Responds to Backlash: Actually, the Kendall Jenner Ad Is Good and Meaningful [Updated]

Screenshot via YouTube.
Screenshot via YouTube.

After being roundly panned for a heroically tone-deaf and appropriative ad in which Kendall Jenner, social justice warrior, initiates world peace by handing a can of soda to a curiously underdressed cop, Pepsi has issued a few statements to clear the air. This was clearly tough, given that Pepsi is still the same company that created this ad.


According to a statement Pepsi provided to Teen Vogue, you have totally misunderstood—in fact, the ad that featured a docile, non-specific crowd holding signs that read “join the conversation” was incredibly #unfiltered:

“The creative showcases a moment of unity, and a point where multiple storylines converge in the final advert. It depicts various groups of people embracing a spontaneous moment, and showcasing Pepsi’s brand rallying cry to ‘Live For Now,’ in an exploration of what that truly means to live life unbounded, unfiltered and uninhibited.”

This must have been aimed at convincing people that this large corporation in fact has a solid grip on reality—it must have—which is why their decision to use these particular words is so... incredible.

Later, via People, a briefer statement was given in an attempt to explain once again that despite what you may think and feel, this ad was good: “This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that’s an important message to convey.”

Meanwhile, in the stately driveway of a Greenwich, Connecticut 7-bedroom, there is a Pepsi executive spooning his Tesla whispering “a point where multiple storylines converge in the final advert” over and over again until he gently falls asleep.

UPDATE: Pepsi has pulled the ad (which we’ve embedded below) and also apologized to Kendall. “Pepsi was trying to project a global a message of unity, peace and understanding,” a statement read. “Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”


Kate Dries