Today, Pepsi released its latest ad, a two-and-a-half minute spot from its in-house creative team, Creators League Studio, featuring Kendall Jenner as a model who leaves work to join a protest. Reception to it has not been warm, to say the least, as many see a major corporation co-opting a political movement against the current administration, and co-opting Black Lives Matter, to sell soda.
The spot is part of a new campaign, “Live for Now,” which is about celebrating life’s “Live for Now” moments, according to a release from the brand.
What kinds of moments are those? “Moments when we decide to let go, choose to act, follow our passion and nothing holds us back,” according to the company’s release. ” ‘Jump In,’ a short film that depicts these moments and stars Kendall Jenner, captures the spirit and actions of those people that jump in to every moment.”
See the ad here:
There’s been an avalanche of negative reactions to the ad, and the backlash only seems to be growing online this evening. For now, Pepsi is standing by the commercial, telling Adweek in a statement: “This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that’s an important message to convey.”
“The ‘Jump In’ Pepsi Moments film takes a more progressive approach to truly reflect today’s generation and what living for now looks like,” the brand said in the earlier release, which did not mention President Trump, the resistance, Black Lives Matter or any other current movement that Pepsi could be trying to reflect in its ad, which it plans to use globally, via TV and digital.
The brand told Teen Vogue in a statement: “The creative showcases a moment of unity, and a point where multiple storylines converge in the final advert. It depicts various groups of people embracing a spontaneous moment, and showcasing Pepsi’s brand rallying cry to ‘Live For Now,’ in an exploration of what that truly means to live life unbounded, unfiltered and uninhibited.”
“I am thrilled to join the legendary roster of icons who have represented their generations and worked with Pepsi,” said Jenner in a statement. “To me, Pepsi is more than just a beverage—it registers as a pop culture icon and a lifestyle that shares a voice with the generation of today. The spirit of Pepsi—living in the ‘now’ moment—is one that I believe in. I make a conscious effort in my everyday life and travels to enjoy every experience of today.”
Here’s a sampling of what people are saying on Twitter: