I’m sure you’ve heard about Pepsi’s big fat mistake last week. The Kendall Jenner ad, meant to appeal to millennials, was all sorts of wrong and Pepsi completely missed the mark. With tweets stating “Pepsi ended Black Lives Matter and police can now go home!” sarcastically teasing the soda brand, everyone had something to say about the issues that came with the commercial. I see and appreciate the direction Pepsi tried to go with the ad but unfortunately, having a photographer in a hijab and a protest backdrop doesn’t automatically make for an influential advertisement.
So how could this absurdly insensitive ad have been prevented? Simply by getting some other perspectives in the mix. I have an appreciation for in house marketing but an outside source such as an agency needs to be consulted with in times like this and with ads as politically charged as this specific one. Although in house marketing may know their brand and target audience better than an outside agency, the agency offers a new perspective that the brand may be too blind to see since they’re too close to the source. Brands might get too caught up with their corporate ladder that sometimes they forget what’s going on in the world outside. And the roles can easily be switched as well, it just so happens that in this instance, Pepsi was the side that took the hit.
Hopefully Pepsi can come back from this major misstep and correct their flawed campaign.