Archer Community Reflects on the ‘controversial Pepsi Commercial’

Disappointment, sadness, anger and shock are emotions that Archer juniors Josie Garcia and Jayla Brown felt when they saw the Pepsi Commercial.

Pepsi issues a statement about their commercial controversy with Kendall Jenner. Their commercial started controversy amongst the country. Photo via Pepsi Twitter.

The commercial, which has since been taken down, follows supermodel Kendall Jenner joining a protest in the middle of her photo shoot and hands an officer who is blocking the protest a Pepsi. Thus, signaling that a can of Pepsi can solve controversial issues.

Pepsi removed the commercial and issued a statement saying that they were “trying to project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding.” However, Brown believes that Pepsi missed the mark and that the commercial trivializes the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I found it very offensive when I first saw it because they were trying to say giving a Pepsi to someone would solve the problem of Black Lives Matter,” she said. “There is so much oppression behind the whole movement. It’s saying if Martin Luther King gave a Pepsi to a police officer a long time ago, would we still be talking about this issue?”

Variety Magazine stated that Pepsi was trying to appeal to a younger demographic by using Kendall Jenner. However, Jenner has yet to make a comment about the whole controversy.

“When I first saw the commercial I was very disappointed in Pepsi because this is one of my favorite soda brands,” Garcia said. “I was really upset because they used a person who is very influential [Kendall Jenner] and they thought that they could solve the issues going on in the world right now, and that was really insensitive because you can’t fix violence with just a soda can.”

Nathaniel Friedman has worked in advertising for seven years and wrote an op-ed for The New York Times about the commercial and how it was a lesson for advertisers.

“In advertising, any attempts to tackle ‘big issues’ (racism, sexism, domestic violence, climate change) must remain linked to a corporation’s need to push product,” he wrote.

“It was very disrespectful for Pepsi to do that,” Garcia added. “What’s even worse was that no one stopped it from being produced.”

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