Pepsi has always killed it over the years through their ads which feature global celebrities who were iconic contributors to music, football or fashion world. Few would argue that Madonna and Michael Jackson had major social impact on music world, but is it the same for Jenner who is known for her infamous show just like the Kardashians?
The recent Pepsi ad shows Jenner leaving a photo shoot as a model, grabbing a Pepsi and joining a demonstration with overtones of Black Lives Matter. This was an enormous misstep because it used a shallow celebrity with no history of social advocacy. We may know of Jenner for a lot of things, but social activism isn’t one of them. Brands must align celebrity values with their message for credibility. Thus, having Jenner represent a commitment to social action and alluding to Black Lives Matter is bad enough. To further trivialize it by implying that if everyone just had a Pepsi we could all get along not only rings hollow, but it is offensive to those who invest time, emotion, resources and personal safety to address serious issues such as the racial divide.
Would you advise Pepsi to consider the social and political history of celebrities before contracting them for advertisement?