Much has been said about the “revolutionary” (and now extinct) Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad. However, I have a slew of questions that need answers, so I’m writing to Pepsi to find out.
So I caught your ad yesterday and, let me preface this with congratulations. For 24 golden hours, you ended oppression. The impossible dream Martin Luther King spoke of was realised on the day to honour him. He had a dream, but you made it come true. You spoke of unity, and you did that. You were the conduit, you clever clogs. Fleeting, yes, but that doesn’t mean that your lessons are invalid. Who’s to say centuries of racial, sexual and religious divide – years of Black Lives Matter protests, LGBT demonstrations and women’s marches – can’t be solved by an American supermodel and a sweet, carbonated beverage? Who? Well, the diverse picketers who forced you to pull it down, I suppose. Anyway, I watched your masterpiece seven times but I still have so many questions. The tragedy of it, is that I expect these cliffhangers to remain unsolved, but I can’t help myself. I guess such is the complexity of great art; you find something different in each viewing.
Still, I’d love some answers on the following:
Why is the woman in the hijab so angry?
Is it because her office space is messy? Does she just have a demanding client riding her ass? If so, why does she leave her desk to go out and take more photos? Won’t that just add to her dilemma? Or is she just fed up cos she went to art school to become the next Annie Liebovitz and instead she’s shooting nonsense and nothing inspires her? Is she just waiting for the life-affirming sight of Kendall Jenner curing oppression whilst rocking double denim to wake her out of her freelance snapper existence? Either way, I feel sorry for her. I think she needs to drink more Pepsi.
On that note, why is the cellist so angry?
But mostly, congrats, Pepsi! A cool 20-something Asian dude wearing a woollen hat and moodily playing a cello on an abandoned helipad atop a skyscraper. Phwoar. I would.
Also, our three protagonists are artists…what are you getting at, Pepsi?
We have an angry photographer, sweaty muso and contemplative model who are all compelled to leave their homes/workplaces/helipads and join the revolution. Does this mean only artists are woke? That only artists can change the world? Or is it acknowledging that only artists have nothing else to do in the middle of the day but aimlessly take to the streets to protest something ambiguous?
Why can’t Kendall Jenner solve oppression with blonde hair?
I don’t want to make this all about me, Pepsi, but frankly, I’m a bit miffed. Everyone is part of the revolution: blacks, Muslims, the LGBT community…everyone is allowed except blondes.
When Kendall joins the resistance she tosses aside her platinum tresses, back to her roots, she can march as an equal with all the colours and creeds and hot hipster cellists that she pleases. Why can’t she do this as a blonde? We’re not totally useless in the revolution. I mean, we had a setback when Hillary lost the election but then Reese Witherspoon put us right back in the game as the whitest blonde lady that ever there was on Big Little Lies. Or is Miranda Divine right: is the era of blonde people over, as she alluded to in the tragic tale of blonde mum Tara Coverdale who was rejected from a multicultural playgroup for being “too white”? Even if she could teach the “ethnic” mums cool stuff, they didn’t want her. Even if she could help them integrate, learn to speak better English…even when in desperation she pointed out that her poor kids had red hair: surely rangas still garner sympathy, right? Not in Australia in 2017, apparently. And not in the rest of the world, if your ad is to be believed. It seems it’s multicultural or bust, minority or nothing.
Although, if Kendall Jenner and a can of Pepsi can’t change the world as a blonde I guess no one can.
What are they protesting?
There are peace signs and pleas to “join the conversation” but beyond that, it feels like a fairly limp display of people power not really requiring the police line waiting for them at the other end. And how did these protestors – who seem to have gathered at random after observing the march from their spacious inner-city terraces – manage to colour co-ordinate their blue signs and their similarly vague mantras so spectacularly?
Does Kendall not know how to hold a can of soft drink?
Just asking. ’Cause there are some serious Nicole Kidman-at-the-Oscars weird hand issues going on there…
What problem are you and Kendall going to tackle next?
Yes, you had to take the ad down, but I don’t think you should abandon the idea. The oppression of minorities is one thing, but surely the sky is the limit, right? I’ve taken the liberty of drafting a mock-up of your next project.
Anyway, you’ll figure it out. And in the meantime, congrats! You’ve managed to create an ad of infinite contradiction: it’s both terrible and amazing; it’s sickeningly earnest and yet outrageously offensive. It’s frighteningly tone-deaf yet it’s trying so hard to be woke it’s 24 hours into a three-day meth high. And most of all, you taught us that collective demonstration can breed results we desire. And that’s refreshing.
Brava, Pepsi. Brava,