I love the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad! Not because it's a great commercial or because I like Pepsi, but because of what the reaction to it says about the collective mindset of the world we live in today.
My take on this situation is that people are tired of billion dollar corporations commercializing and trivializing the lives of normal people. At least, that's what I'd like to think... and I think that it's a reflection of the power that people have to fight back against corporate greed.
Pepsi won't be hurt by this in the long run though, really. If anything, a controversy like this just gives them free publicity. The people that buy and like Pepsi will probably continue to do so.
However, the negative reaction to this commercial makes me feel positive about the way people live and think about huge corporations. Companies have been capitalizing on these generic "let's bring everyone together" vibes for a long, long time.
They blatantly try to rip off the feelings surrounding issues of civil rights, discrimination, and prejudice so that they can make more money.
What's even more ridiculous is that this is a blatant rip of Coca-Cola! Do you not remember the "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke" ad campaign from the 70's? Okay, I don't technically remember it either because I was T-minus 9 years old at that time. However, it was an iconic ad campaign that people refer to as one of the most successful and memorable in history.
That ad featured people from varying ethnic backgrounds and the underlying message is that if you buy someone a coke you're promoting peace and not war. It implied that you could overcome racism and hate by buying someone a Coke.
This Pepsi ad is the same damn thing, except remade with modern music and context. In case you aren't familiar with what I'm talking about, I've embedded it below.
If everyone just bought each other a Coke or Pepsi (OR BOTH), we would all get along and it would solve all of our problems! Why didn't we think of this before? World Peace. CHECK.
The fact that it's on a hilltop in Italy doesn't change the fact that it's a corporation trying to make a profit off of the ideas and movements of the time...just like Pepsi tried to do. Except this time, people called them out on their bullshit.
Corporations take real life issues and trivialize them by watering them down to inject the message that buying their product supports that movement or ideology. They take what (and who) is popular and try to align themselves with that to get you to buy. It's probably the most common marketing strategy.
That's why you see actors and actresses pitching products that they didn't develop or probably even use.
Anyways, here's Cracked's satirical explanation of how the Pepsi ad with Kendall Jenner got made...and it's hilarious.