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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 April 2017 at 12:48pm | IP Logged | 1  

I suspect I am about to reveal more of my cultural illiteracy.

People seem up in arms about this "protest" ad. I've seen it, and I can't see much, if anything to get upset about. In fact, it sorta reminds me, thematically at least, of Coca-Cola's "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" ad, released at a most turbulent time in the Seventies. There was no fuss about that one.

Is this just another case of people being hyper-sensitive, or am I really missing something?

(Full disclosure, I have no idea who Kendall Jenner is. Before I clicked into the ad, I thought she was a guy.)

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 10 April 2017 at 1:36pm | IP Logged | 2  

https://www.wired.com/2017/04/pepsi-ad-internet-response/

This article linked attempts to explain the fuss.


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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 10 April 2017 at 2:32pm | IP Logged | 3  

I think people are being hyper-sensitive. There was nothing wrong with that ad. The Injustice Crowd saw what they wanted to see.

Edited by Anthony J Lombardi on 10 April 2017 at 2:33pm
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 10 April 2017 at 2:39pm | IP Logged | 4  

I think people are being hyper-sensitive. There was nothing wrong with
that ad. The Injustice Crowd saw what they wanted to see.

-----

Most of the "outrage" I've seen wasn't actually outrage, but ridicule.
People weren't upset about it as much as they thought the ad was
stupid and clueless. Which it was.
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 10 April 2017 at 3:13pm | IP Logged | 5  

I think people are being hyper-sensitive. There was nothing wrong with 
that ad. The Injustice Crowd saw what they wanted to see.

-----

Most of the "outrage" I've seen wasn't actually outrage, but ridicule. 
People weren't upset about it as much as they thought the ad was 
stupid and clueless. Which it was.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I get that but I keep in mind that it's a soda pop commercial. So I don't expect anything too deep and meaningful. 

I agree with JB about this ad trying to be like the Coca Cola commercial from the 70's.

  It's just that the youngsters of today are much more superficial than they were back in my day. These kids need to get off my lawn.


Edited by Anthony J Lombardi on 11 April 2017 at 9:53am
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David Miller
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Posted: 10 April 2017 at 3:41pm | IP Logged | 6  

Pepsi's mistake was the ad's specificity. Coke may have co-opted the counterculture with its Seventies ad, but they were smart enough (or short-sighted enough) to avoid featuring a plucky model preventing the Kent State shooting by plying the National Guard with a refreshing cola, soothing the burns of children running terrified from a napalm strike with soft drinks for the air cav or convincing the Chicago PD to stand down at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Maybe some post-hippies felt strident ownership of swaying on a hillside with candles but I don't know if that particular movement had quite the scale and seriousness of BLM. 

I've also heard from "movement" people who think it's great the hard work of their protest generation has been validated by being co-opted for advertising.  
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 10 April 2017 at 3:48pm | IP Logged | 7  

Pepsi's mistake was the ad's specificity. Coke may have co-opted the
counterculture with its Seventies ad, but they were smart enough (or
short-sighted enough) to avoid featuring a plucky model preventing the
Kent State shooting by plying the National Guard with a refreshing cola,
soothing the burns of children running terrified from a napalm strike
with soft drinks for the air cav or convincing the Chicago PD to stand
down at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

-----

Exactly.
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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 10 April 2017 at 6:16pm | IP Logged | 8  

The ad is terrible on many levels.  As a former ad man I remain baffled at who thought it was a good idea.

Kendall Jenner ripping off her blonde wig and giving it to her black 'assistant' so she can join in on what must be the most beautiful and culturally diverse protest ever to gather is just one of many tone deaf blunders the ad makes.

It may try to emulate what Coke did with "Teach The World To Sing" (thanks Don Draper), but it failed MISERABLY.




Edited by David Allen Perrin on 10 April 2017 at 6:17pm
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David Miller
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Posted: 10 April 2017 at 7:15pm | IP Logged | 9  

I don't know where Don Draper is right now, but assuming lung cancer didn't take him in the Eighties, I bet he's patting himself on his nonagenarian back for spiking the follow up spots where the Hillside Singers levitate the Pentagon and stand between Meredith Hunter and the Hell's Angels at Altamont.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 April 2017 at 7:52pm | IP Logged | 10  

Reading around the Net I find myself concluding that those who are making a fuss about this bit of Madison Avenue fluff are taking it literally! They think we are really supposed to believe the path to World Peace lies in a can of Pepsi.

Roughly, then, the same kind of intellectual giants who really believed Martians were attacking in 1938.

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Rich Marzullo
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Posted: 10 April 2017 at 8:05pm | IP Logged | 11  

SNL's take on the ad:

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Matt Reed
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Posted: 10 April 2017 at 10:46pm | IP Logged | 12  

 John Byrne wrote:
Reading around the Net I find myself concluding that those who are making a fuss about this bit of Madison Avenue fluff are taking it literally! They think we are really supposed to believe the path to World Peace lies in a can of Pepsi.

Literally or figuratively, either way the ad is garbage.  It's tone deaf on so many levels, not the least of which is the hiring of a white reality TV star to tell the world that all it takes is to see a single multi-ethnic protest march to throw off a wig and pass around a Pepsi to make the world a brighter place. 

Yes, the comparisons to "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" Coke ads from the Seventies are easy, but those ads were general.  They featured everyday people.  This ad featured a personality who couldn't stand any farther apart from the movement than Kendall Jenner and her family. She was the unifying force.  If not for her (and Pepsi) then no one would make the connection that we're all on the same team regardless of opinion. To think that Kendall would suddenly "throw off her model shackles" to take up in a protest march is absurd. Doubly so that she'd actually have the wherewithal to pass a drink from protester to cop in some absurd symbolic gesture that we're all the same and she (and Pepsi) will unite us.  

I don't for one moment believe that anyone involved in the ad thought that people would take it literally.  But I do believe that they thought they were making a statement and, to do so, they co-opted the recent rise in protests to tie their brand into what could "heal a nation" one Pepsi or wig toss at a time. 

It's just awful on so many fronts.  Tone deaf, absurd and ridiculous.  
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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 11 April 2017 at 1:05am | IP Logged | 13  

What Matt said.
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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 11 April 2017 at 8:31am | IP Logged | 14  

My pitch:

Pepsi: Love Train

Scene: A crowded European train interior…..daytime, sunny from what we can see from the windows. 

A white man in his late 50’s is sitting alone in a section with 4 seats.  Four seats facing each other.   A newspaper is folded in his lap.  He looks content, waiting to depart.

He looks up to see someone about to have a seat in his section.  It is a man of obvious Arab decent and he too is carrying a folded newspaper.  He is in his 50’s as well.  He looks about the section for his assigned seat.  It is directly across from the white man.  And suddenly…there is tension.

The white man picks up his newspaper…almost as if to hide his face.  The Arab man does the same.  

The front page of the white man’s newspaper is now visible to the camera.  It says: “TENSIONS RISE AS CULTURES CLASH”.  Camera focuses on his eyes as they dart up and over the page.  Looking at the man across from him.  He seems tense.

The front page of the Arab man’s newspaper says: “PROTESTS ESCALATE ACROSS THE GLOBE”  Camera focuses on his eyes, also looking up at the man across form him.  His brow furrows.  

Camera now gives up quick shots of the photos on the pages of both papers.  Images of protests, angry faces.  Muslim people with raised arms.  White people with signs and raised fists.  The camera cuts are quick, alternating with shots of the two men's eyes and the images before them.  Tensions are building.

And then…..

The camera shifts…and a young couple is entering the section.  The young man is white.  Not a “model" type.  An ordinary fellow in his early 20’s, dressed casually and wearing a back pack.  He is holding a bottle of Pepsi, but the focus is not tight.  You just ‘notice’ it.  Nothing more.   He is smiling as he takes the seat next to the older Arab man.

His companion is a young Arab woman.  She is wearing a hijab with casual wear.  She also in her early 20’s.   Not a model.  She is pleasant and smiling.  It is clear they are together.  A couple.  She is also holding a bottle of Pepsi.  

As they take their seats they begin a quiet, casual converstation.  The young man: “This was the best trip ever.”  His accent is English.  The young woman: “For sure.  But it will be nice to get home.”  Her accent is non descript.  “American”, if you will.

Young man: “My mum can’t wait to see you again.  I’m pretty sure she likes you more than me.”  They laugh quietly…..as if to not disturb the older men who seem to be trying hard to not notice the couple.  “Of course she does, silly!  What’s not to love?”  The young woman says.  This brings more quiet laughter.  The two settle into their seats as the train begins to move.  

The two eyes of the older men trade glances at each other over their newspapers and at the couple seated next to them.  

The young woman, seated with her head back and looking very content….silently mouths the words “I love you” to the young man.  She smiles and takes a sip from the bottle. 

The young man, in much the same mode responds silently, “I love you too”.  And he too takes a slow sip from his bottle.  

Camera shot expands to include all 4 passengers in the section.  The young couple glances over at the two older men and they both smile politely and nod at them.  And then they turn their attention to the view out of the windows the train.  It’s a beautiful European countyside.

The two older men turn their focus to each other.  Their eyes are softer….as they realize the 'lesson' taught to them by the younger people.  And sheepishly, they both fold up their newspapers…and place them at their sides.  

And they smile at each other…slightly.

Camera takes us outside as the train makes it’s way down the tracks.  The sun is bright and beautiful.  


The word “LOVE” fades in on screen…..and PEPSI logo fades in.  

End spot.


Edited by David Allen Perrin on 11 April 2017 at 8:36am
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Eric Ladd
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Posted: 11 April 2017 at 8:33am | IP Logged | 15  

 David Allen Perrin wrote:
is just one of many tone deaf blunders the ad makes.


Agreed. Another horrible mistake is showing the protest as a street music and dance party along with the police containing it armed solely with crossed arms.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 April 2017 at 9:36am | IP Logged | 16  

Tone deaf, absurd and ridiculous.

••

A TV ad, then. . . .

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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 14 April 2017 at 12:02pm | IP Logged | 17  

Addressing many of the same issues...in a totally different way.


https://youtu.be/J4jZ1UFR_Wc




Edited by David Allen Perrin on 14 April 2017 at 12:03pm
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 14 April 2017 at 5:59pm | IP Logged | 18  

For me the interesting thing with this was that there wasn't even the chance to make up one's mind on the subject -- the sturm und drang arrived before the ad itself. YOU MUST HATE THIS without even having necessarily seen it.

It's pretty stupid -- as if staged by someone who is confused between a protest march and a protest concert -- and the song itself is both annoying and self-aggrandising ("WE ARE THE CHOOOOOSEN! WE ARE THE MOOOOVEMENT, YOU BETTER KNOW WHO WE ARE!" Oh, do fuck off).

As Matt astutely noted, Kendall Jenner is a very odd choice for the level-playing-field kind of world to which this ad aspires, but then again she does have a trans-parent, I suppose. More inclusive cred than me.

She looks a million bucks, of course, but she really needs to learn how to hold a pepsi can like a normal person.

Is she now more famous than Kim?


Edited by Peter Martin on 14 April 2017 at 6:00pm
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 14 April 2017 at 9:09pm | IP Logged | 19  

Is she now more famous than Kim?


*******

Other than hearing their names, I have no idea why they are famous and only a vague understanding of who they are. If they were standing next to each other, I couldn't tell you which was which. 
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 15 April 2017 at 11:56am | IP Logged | 20  

Kim Kardashian was a personal assistant and party pal to Paris Hilton. Like her bestie, she was featured in a sex tape. This was parlayed into a reality show featuring her sisters and already-kinda-famous parents (mom's ex-husband was an OJ lawyer, current husband was Bruce (now Caitlyn!) Jenner, '76 Olympic Decathlon gold medalist).

Sex tapes are somehow a start to a career rather than a detriment.

These chicks bring NOTHING to the table but their secondary sex characteristics and a singular enthusiasm in displaying them prominently (in nature, it's called "presenting.") 

It's been demonstrated they can't sing, dance, rap, act or even speak normally (Google "Vocal Fry"). They're basically rich and famous for being rich and famous. And that they're not shy with their boobs, butts, lips, or labia.


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Brian Miller
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Posted: 15 April 2017 at 12:28pm | IP Logged | 21  

Their dad and step-dad were the only reason I was vaguely aware of who they are. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 April 2017 at 12:55pm | IP Logged | 22  

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Steve De Young
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Posted: 15 April 2017 at 4:47pm | IP Logged | 23  

I don't think that's what they meant when IDW said you could use the Cardassians in New Visions, JB.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 16 April 2017 at 6:33am | IP Logged | 24  

I think this ad would be comparable to, for example, having featured Zsa Zsa Gabor using Pepsi to quell the riot at the 1968 Democratic Convention.
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Monte Brown
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Posted: 25 April 2017 at 1:21am | IP Logged | 25  

Eh, I thought the entire commercial was uninspired.  Kendallville Jenner didn't seem any worse than usual?
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