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Pepsi What we can learn from beverage company's controversial ad

After Pepsi pulls out its controversial ad, there are important lessons for big brands to take note of.

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The Pepsi ad was a total disaster play

The Pepsi ad was a total disaster


Yesterday, Wednesday, April 6, 2017, the world slammed Pepsi and Kendall Jenner for the tone deaf commercial.

After the huge backlash, Pepsi released a statement that it was going to pull the ad.

"Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further roll out. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position" read the statement.

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(Luke Kenworthy)


No doubt the advert failed to hit its target. The intriguing thing about this debacle is how a huge corporation like Pepsi produced an advert that was insensitive and nobody could red flag it. There are lessons to be learnt from the Pepsi ad fiasco.

The moment of 'peace' play

The moment of 'peace'

(Daily Mail/YouTube )


The first lesson is this- when producing content for a target demographic, you need to get people from that demographic to make the creative decisions. You can't make an ad for millennials without having millennials in the room. In Pepsi's case, they obviously didn't consult protesters when coming up with the advert. Big corporations need to get people from the culture when coming up with content for them. If they don't, the result will most likely end up like the Pepsi ad.

Kylie Jenner play

Kylie Jenner

(YouTube )


Secondly, Kendall Jenner wasn't the right person for the commercial. Who ends up as the face of a campaign, especially sensitive ones matters a lot. The Jenner/Kardashian family is successful but they hardly talk about racism or police brutality. And there is nothing wrong in that. The wrong thing is using Kendall Jenner who has no ties to activism or protest as the face of that Pepsi ad. You have to get relevant people that tie in to the concept of your message.

If Pepsi had done all these, the commercial wouldn't have been a flop. It won't be surprising that more big corporations will continue to make Pepsi's mistake.

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