Tasteless? Well, OK, But There’s Somethin’ happnen’ here..

April 6, 2017

I’m a connoisseur of the tasteless, so I thought the outrage was overdone. Ok, releasing this on the anniversary of MLK’s death was tone-deaf.
But if there’s one thing I do know.for.sure. – failure teaches you more than success.

Worth a moment, because advertisers do have a better ear for the zeitgeist than, say, most journalists.  Which is why so many successful Republican operatives come from the world or PR rather than wonkish think tanks.


Pepsi has withdrawn and apologized for a new ad campaign featuring Kendall Jenner, after the company faced a backlash for a video that co-opted the imagery of protest movements to sell soda.

“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” the company said in a statement to the Associated Press. “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize.”

The video, which Pepsi had planned to use in a global ad campaign, featured reality TV star and model Jenner coming across a scene of protest. Jenner joins the crowd, which approaches a line of police officers. What could be a tense standoff in the real world defuses into cheers and smiles when the Keeping up with the Kardashians star picks up a can of cola and offers it to an officer.

The image of Jenner approaching the police clearly referenced the iconic photograph of Ieshia Evans, an 18-year-old black woman who stood tall in the face of heavily armored riot police during a Black Lives Matter protest following the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling by police in 2016.

The audacity of co-opting the visual language of resistance movements to sell sugary beverages prompted an immediate and harsh backlash on social media.

Bernice King, the daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, joined the fray on Wednesday, posting a photo of her father with the tag, “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi.” The video was released on 4 April, the 49th anniversary of King’s assassination.

Not the first time this has been done. This classic Coke ad appeared in relatively chill 1971, as opposed to red-hot 1968, but showed who advertisers thought was winning the culture war.


Granted, Something lost in translation here


That’s the crux of successful marketing today: activism is in. “Our activism is currently mediated by brands,” says Will Fowler, creative director of Headspace. “Brands are allowing people to pat themselves on the back without them personally having to sacrifice anything.” It’s true. Popping into a warm, extremely convenient Starbucks for a sweet caffeine pick-up isn’t the same as driving to Calais on a Wednesday night with a boot full of baby carriers. I swapped one taxi app for another and felt incredibly smug. We’re all feeling the need to right the wrongs of today’s Brexit and Trump world – but few people are willing to actually sacrifice anything. If a brand can allow me to carry on living exactly as I was and fuel my social conscience then they can have all my pocket money.

I think I like this, from 2012, the best.

Final word to Stephen Colbert.


8 Responses to “Tasteless? Well, OK, But There’s Somethin’ happnen’ here..”

  1. What was up with all the dorky peace symbols????

  2. florasforum Says:

    This would have been PERFECT at Standing Rock – maybe those stylish, monied, discontented kids, looks like the same ones who voted for Hillary (certainly not the still-Sanders supporters), could have handed out Pepsi to the water protectors, not the cops bought by the oil companies, but the indigenous people and their activist supporters – helping stop all that pesky trouble about protecting our water and proving once and for all we don’t even NEED to protect that water because the corporations can sell us some far out GMO corn syrup artificially flavored crap!!! The oligarchy rules the world and Pepsi has our back (right!!!). SO COOL!

    You’re wrong about the Republican PR people knowing what’s up – yeah, they’re better at manipulation because they can see the struggles and poverty and know they can use it to their advantage. They are experts at theft and lying. It’s the Sanders people and the ones who actually know what is in the people’s hearts and who want to save the planet who will prevail. It’s the artists and the activists, not the rich PR firms that kiss the asses of the ruling class and do their bidding.

  3. Tom Bates Says:

    You do know the water protectors at standing rock where simply lying. The intake for the reservation has been in the process of moving and will be upstream of the pipe crossing the river. The move actually had zero to do with the pipe and has been talked about and was authorized years ago. The whole protest started after the company refused to pay what the tribe asked for to cross their land and went to private land outside the reservation. Several other pipe lines cross the river both below and above the reservation and not a peep out of the tribe until it looked like a money tree was about to arrive.

    • florasforum Says:

      Seriously??? I followed that story for MONTHS. I can’t believe you have the nerve to get on this site and lie your ass off. (Well, yes, I can believe it – corruption is everywhere – American ethics=anything for a buck.)

      I guess there are no oil spills either? I guess there’s no danger to the water of 17 million Americans when there is an oil spill (not if, when) at this location, at the second largest river in the United States?

      I’m sorry that you don’t care about the future of the children, grandchildren, or any other living thing that will (it’s only a matter of time) be affected. And all of this to send fuel to China and make a few fat cats richer.

      220 SIGNIFICANT pipeline spills in 2016 ALONE.

      I am not going to waste my time arguing with the likes of you, and frankly, I am sick of this site – it attracts too many who want to do nothing but stick their heads in the sand. The truth is out there and easy to find, The Young Turks reported on this for months and months when no other news media (all corrupt) did not. This company, which has spilled oil all over the place killing animals and contaminating water and land, tried to get the pipeline through Bismarck and that didn’t go through because the white people said hell no. So they violated our indigenous people, again, abused them, beat them, jailed them.

      You know nothing about this???????????

  4. Tom Bates Says:

    It is not the republicans who gave your job away to China, that was Bill Clinton. the Bushes followed suite, Obama wanted to compound the damage.

    • I would have thought it was the capitalist system chasing the cheapest production costs? Once one business begins the race to the bottom, all follow suite, or are crushed in the stampede. Problem? The laid off workers are also their customers!

    • florasforum Says:

      Good God, man, look up the history of NAFTA. It was the Republican Bush Sr.’s brainchild and Clinton did the dirty work – because he’s an asshole too! All both parties care about is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. They could care less if Americans have jobs.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: