A new Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner may have done the impossible and united a divided nation. Everyone, it seems, hates the artsy ad — which can’t be what Pepsi was aiming for.
The 2 minute, 39 second commercial features Jenner, a member of the famous for being famous Kardashian clan, and the song “Lions” sung by Skip Marley, the grandson of Bob Marley.
The video features a protest of young people and people of color in the streets, that is joined by a cello player, then a by a Muslim photographer and finally by Jenner, a model who sheds a blonde wig and wipes away her lipstick.
The protesters eventually come into contact with a line of policemen. Jenner hands one of the police a can of Pepsi, who opens it and takes a drink, much to the delight of the protesters.
The tagline for the ad encourages people to “Live Bolder. Live Louder. Live For Now.”
The song contains protest lyrics, seemingly talking about the election of President Donald Trump and concern about the rights of minorities and others in the United States.
“Some said ‘never’ but the never done come / Yeah, and took our trust
Hate’s been winning, but the lovers ain’t done / Yeah, not on my watch
Yeah, if ya took all my rights away / Yeah, if ya tellin' me how to pray
Yeah, if ya won't let us demonstrate / Yeah, you're wrong
Yeah, if ya thinking I don't belong / Yeah, if ya hiding behind a gun
Yeah, if ya hoping we're gonna run / Ya wrong”
The video sparked outrage across the Internet with people taking offense to all different aspects of the ad. The Huffington Post called it “tone-deaf.” A Jezebel author asked if everyone hated it as much as she did. New York Magazine says “the revolution will be branded.”
Many of the complaints stemmed from the simplistic solution offered at the end where a Pepsi seemingly solved the protesters’ problems.
Several Twitter users pointed out that Jenner, a white woman, could receive a much different reaction from police officers than black protesters would. The image also bore a resemblance to a famous photo of Black Lives Matter protester Ieshia Evans, who was arrested while protesting in Baton Rouge, La.
Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi was outspoken about Trump’s remarks on women and minorities after the election. Nooyi was born in India.
“Forget about the Pepsi brand. How dare we talk about women that way,” she said days after the election, according to Forbes.
Nooyi added: “The first thing we have to do is assure everyone living in the United States that they are safe. Nothing has changed as a result of this election.”
Her comments led some Trump supporters to suggest a boycott of Pepsi products.