"Kendall Jenner for Pepsi Commercial" is a video that depicts a commercial ad of Pepsi with one beautiful lady called Kendall Jenner. The beginning of the ad is marked with a song repeatedly singing lines of "new generation" and "the movement" before a group of protesters emerges and appears in the video. This group represents the demonstrators most of whom are the blacks in race carrying placards. On the placards, there are signs written "love," "peace," and "join the conversation." Kendall who seems busy taking photos watches the crowd far from where she is before emerging to join the demonstrators who are carrying placards. A handsome man beckons Jenner into the group with the cello before we see Kendell Jenner ripping her blonde wig off and her lipstick wiped off and finally joins the marching crowd (Kendall and Kylie, min1). From what the video depicts and the intended message by Pepsi ad with Kendall Jenner, it is easy and quick to tell that there is a lot of controversy. The controversy ranges from the images used in the video, the song in the advert, the police, and the role played by Jenner.
The first thing that brings the video to its controversial point is the song with the repeated lines of "we are the new generation" and "the movement." The words themselves do not reflect the pictures since the pictures show an old group of undisclosed protestors who had been demonstrating. Though the protestors are not disclosed, but indeed if it was the new generation, then probably the pictures in the video could have shown something different and unique from the appearance. However, based on the fact that the images were old having been taken from earlier demonstrators, it deems the whole scenario controversial. Even the song itself talking about the movement, it is more related to the Black Lives Matter movement and by the Pepsi directly taking the song and the pictures and join them in such an advert, it completely contradicts the ideal message of commercializing Pepsi drinks as their products.
As the crowd emerges into the video, their faces do not reflect the real message of happiness, and some faces appear to indicate agitations and discomfort. Indeed, the protestors in the video appear upset at the same time showing smiling faces that looked attractive. It is true, the two events happening in the same picture is a bit disturbing and contravening to anyone watching the video. It becomes hard to have the demonstrators who looked upset but at the same time smiling and looking attractive. This could be told from the different responses from Kendall Jenner who at first also appeared frown. She only takes a close look and does it long enough before she reads the jovial mood of the marching group that she decides to join them.
At some point in the video shows the police in full riot gear standing by side watching the protestors but in a reactive mood. One would wonder what the entire Pepsi commercial ad was all about. One might be tempted to think the video was reported on a confrontation between the police and the protestors than an advert to show the joy people have when taking Pepsi products. If indeed this was the message, was there any need to have the police in full riot gear? The presence of the cops contravenes the whole scenario and the message the ad intended to pass.
One of the highly contravening parts I find unique of its kind is at the climax of the advert when Kendall Jenner finally gets at the calm front-line of the protesting crowd. Holding a can of Pepsi, she had picked from an ice bucket; she spots one of the officers, reaches to the police officer and hands him one can of Pepsi (Kendall and Kylie, min2). The officer then takes a sip as a woman with the Muslim headscarf takes the pictures before everyone in the crowd cheers. The cheers at the climax of the advert are the only thing I find marking the happiness that people have while taking Pepsi products. What I find contravening at this juncture is why Kendall Jenner, who initially was not part of the protestors when the advert started later takes the lead role. Probably an observer would believe this part of Jenner taking leading role to hand the Pepsi to the police officer as a mockery to the entire group who initially seemed agitated by something undisclosed. Was it meant to demean the demonstrators who appeared upset or the black people majority who are seen emerging in the advert as protestors? Indeed, the handing over of Pepsi by Kendall to one of the police officer and the cheers after that depicts a strong message considering that Jenner is white. Any keen observer would need to understand more why and how Jenner could single-handedly end the police brutality. Probably, two things come out in the advert clip. The first thing is the ideal intended message of Pepsi then the second thing is how the black protestors are portrayed. The two messages are contravening bearing in mind the recent demonstrations of black live matter movement.
Kendall and Kylie. Kendall Jenner for PEPSI commercial, Apr 4, 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA5Yq1DLSmQ
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