Oh Pepsi. You Messed Up.

This is gross. Honestly gross. It’s tone-deaf, it appropriates #BlackLivesMatter, the Women’s March, and so on. And it suggests something really fucking disgusting…

All you need to solve police brutality is…

A can of god damn Pepsi.

So… I will start with a bit of a guilty confession…

I always liked Pepsi over Coke. Now, to be entirely fair… I don’t drink much soda any more (aside from cream soda during Passover and the occasional rum n’ cola or other alcoholic fizzy/soda drink). But back when I did, I honestly went for Pepsi over Coke most of the time. I always thought Pepsi was a better mixer for Rum n’ Colas, too.

But since I’ve largely given up soda all together, Pepsi products are entirely off my list.

I’m going to break this down, but it’s been done extremely well by others already, like in the article I linked to above at Quartz Media, which highlights some great Twitter reactions I’m gonna share here.

From that article

In the video, released April 4, Jenner is seen donning a platinum blond wig for a photo shoot as protesters wielding signs like “Join the conversation” and “Love” pass by. Inspired, Jenner walks out on the job, ripping off her wig and wiping off her lipstick to join the throng of young people. As she marches toward the front, she grabs a can of Pepsi and hands it over to a police officer. The crowd breaks out in cheers when he accepts and opens it.

Let’s start with that shot. As noted by @slchen_ on Twitter…

I don’t think much more needs to be said about that…

Elon James White at TWiBPrime makes fun of Kendall Jenner throwing off her blonde wig to join the protest (I’ll add that video clip later if they upload it to their channel)… because, apparently, that blonde wig kept Kendall Jenner “disconnected from the people”, and in order to “wake up”… to be “woke”… she had to throw it off.

As for the photographer… her going all Hulk Smash on her photos because she doesn’t like them was already really bad, but it doesn’t help that that appropriative image at the end is the photograph she, apparently, needs.

And I’ll just let Ronan Farrow comment on the “protest signs”:

…and infuriating…

So… let’s get one thing damn well clear…

While the ad suggests a Pepsi could broker peaceful harmony between protestors and police, it’s a stark contrast to the accounts of police brutality fresh on Americans’ minds, such as the cases of Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, and Philando Castile, who all died at the hands of law enforcement officers. In addition, Americans last month commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Rodney King riots, when officers from the Los Angeles Police Department brutally beat an unarmed black man, erupting in violence and unrest across the city for five days that left more than 50 people dead.

Rodney King would not have been saved by a can of Pepsi. Civil Rights would not have been won with a can of Pepsi. All of the black people murdered by the police over these last… well… few centuries… would not have been saved by a fucking can of fucking Pepsi.

This ad is not helpful. It’s not cool. It doesn’t send a positive message. It’s load of capitalist branding bullshit. Pepsi needs to pull that ad and apologize, and all fucking brands of anything need to stop appropriating protests and resistance to sell their worthless products. You’re not helping.

You’re making things worse.

Fucking stop.


  1. Dunc says

    You’re not helping.

    You’re making things worse.

    They don’t care. They’re not trying to help, they’re trying to make money.

    Welcome to capitalism. Pick up you Che Guevara T-Shirt, your Sex Pistols album, and your V for Vendetta (TM) Guy Fawkes mask at the merchandise stand. We accept all major credit cards.

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