It was yanked fairly quickly once Pepsi Cola realized it appeased nobody, appealed to nobody. It featured a Kardashian (not sure which once, don’t care, and am quite proud to be ignorant enough to not know these clowns by name) at a photo shoot, then she joins some social justice Nazis in the streets to give a cop a Coke and a smile. No Mean Joe Green tossing his jersey, no smiling polar bear, and no Café 80’s. It is both intellectually as well as morally unconvincing. And, what’s worse, is that it really has nothing at all to do with Pepsi. It’s a commercial with minimal product showcasing, which seems routine today. How many cell phone commercials or insurance company commercials have you seen over the years that are a total bait-and-switch (but somehow better than any modern SNL skit)?
But I can’t let Pepsi off the hook so easily. First and foremost, I have to wonder why on earth they thought that this commercial required a Kardashian. The Kardashians have outlived their relevancy since they are nothing more than famous for the sake of being famous. All their product lines are sub-mediocre, their reality shows are a self-aware farce (as are the dwindling viewers that guiltily grin as they tune in), and they’ve utterly polluted news cycles just by their very existence. When people discuss the Kardashians, it is almost always done in a caustic, pejorative tone, almost identical to the way the public consciousness regarded TLC-sanctioned pedo-porn shows like Honey Boo Boo. Trying to sell Pepsi with a Kardashian would be like trying to sell Chevrolets with Colin Kaepernick.
Aside from the schlock pseudo-celebrity endorsement, the bigger question is why Pepsi felt the need to make a commercial that panders to social justice Nazis. It’s actually kind of funny when you think about it. Pepsi did at one point have a cult of personality that appealed to the youth; Probably sometime in the late 80’s to the mid 90’s, Pepsi was all about marketing to “Gen-neXt”, the youth culture that was supposed to be more cutting edge that the (edgy in name only) Gen-X. I guess the term “millennial” hadn’t been coined yet, which is just as well because that word has been abused and raped to death. I even remember Pepsi having the old “License to Chill” card in the early 90’s….oh yeah, Pepsi was MTV and Coke was VH1. Well, “Generation NeXt” has grown up and Pepsi thinks they are nothing more than a bunch of morons in the street that hate cops and Coca Cola, but LOVE Kardashians, cosplaying as protesters, and Pepsi.
It’s high time advertisers and corporations abandon the practice of selling morality with their products. Some companies, such as Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby, stringently represent the old guard of businesses that don’t stray from right-wing Christian values. These are fine, because they don’t attempt to cram their morals down your throat in their advertising campaigns. If you’ve seen one Chick-Fil-A commercial, you’ve seen ‘em all. It’s cows that are sabotaging McDonalds, plain and simple. There is no Chick-Fil-A commercial of Kirk Cameron convincing women not to get abortions or making gay people straight, nor will there ever be. But Pepsi Cola just can’t help themselves, and they’ve managed to prove that they are as ice age as MTV, with no real understanding of youth culture.
No more corporate social commentary. And please, for the love of Christ, no more Kardashians.
I’ll stick with the old Jim Varney Mello Yello commercials, thank you very much.