Pepsi’s failed attempt to “sell” a social cause made it face the outrage and criticism from the masses.
In an infamous advertisement, Pepsi tried to give the message of peace, love, and unity against racism while featuring the famous model Kendall Jenner whose act to hand over a cane to the cop created controversy.
A white model ruling the showbiz, moves through the protestors, comes in front to lead and gives Pepsi can to the police, making up a climax moment of the ad.
No wonders that advertisement attracted such criticism as its narrative appeared to be against the struggle of black people in the United States who are fighting for their equal rights.
Critics opined that Kendall’s gesture of giving a can to the officer was in defiance of 28 years old Nurse, Leshia Evans whose picture of Baton Rouge protest in Lousiana made the defining moment of Black Lives Matter movement. A Reuters photographer had captured Leshia when she stood defiantly before the cops.
A Twitter user termed this act in the ad as blasphemy and disrespect to the actual cause of Black Lives Matters movement.
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) April 5, 2017
Social media came up with every possible example to prove that advertisement was purely an attack on the cause of Black people.
“Kendall please! Give him a Pepsi!” pic.twitter.com/IntFNmCpTr
— Zito (@_Zeets) April 4, 2017
Following such harsh response of this video add Pepsi finally pulled it.
Pepsi may not have done so willingly but what made a corporate to communicate such a controversial message. The answer lies in the attempt of large corporates to appear as a society oriented entity in a disguise of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).
It is the fashion to sell the narratives that are more appealing. What can be more lucrative than the slogan of love, peace, humanity and unity? The issue is that whatever social cause a business entity would endorse its sole purpose would be to bag more money from the consumers. How come a profit oriented entity be expected to keep an account of such sensitive things to make sure that an ordinary man doesn’t get offended.
This is the year 2017 and not all the people are blind enough to fall for a trap; they are much delicate and rational while being capable of distinguishing between a campaign that promotes consumerism and one that cares for the society.
Corporates should take into account the fact that bolstering the advertisement campaign of their products with a social cause must be thought out process. Otherwise, they can commit a serious offense against their customers who may end up boycotting the product. Precaution is necessary after all their real purpose is to sell.