Pepsi’s Protest Ad is Breaking the Internet

The commercial “Disney-fies” the resistance, said one person on Twitter. “Nope,” said another.

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Update: April 5, 2017 at 3:00pm EST. After much backlash on social media, Pepsi pulled this ad.

Like many of its advertisements, Pepsi’s new commercial features lots of hip, smiling young people in posh outfits. But here’s the catch: This latest commercial is set at a protest, clearly made to resemble one from the Black Lives Matter movement or January’s Women’s March. Energized youth pump fists in the air and hold up painted signs in many languages. The ad gets especially cringe-worthy when reality-TV personality Kendall Jenner offers a Pepsi to a cop, he drinks it, and crowds cheer in delight while a woman in a hijab snaps a photo. A tagline reads “Live Bolder.”

People immediately took issue with Pepsi’s latest marketing attempt. Daily Show writer Kashana Cauley chimed in: “So all us dark people have to do is convince a cop that the Pepsi we’re holding isn’t a gun.”

“This Pepsi ad is really dystopian,” commented another person on Twitter. “Disney-fies resistance. whitewashes and commodifies protest. wow there’s a lot to unpack there.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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