Kim asked me to over the rants this week and it got me excited because as a marketer when I see an ad go wrong, I don’t really get to discuss it as formal setting as this, so let’s get started…..
Its clear that Pepsi missed the mark with their ad campaign featuring Kendall Jenner solving the issue of police presence during a protest march imitating the Black Lives Matter movement that received lots of controversy and social media. The attention is staggering and Pepsi immediately pulled the commercial.
Its not the first controversial marketing mistake Pepsi has enjoyed and its not the emotional response thats a lesson for that learned by marketers.
Although Pepsi came out of the ad campaign in negative light, how far was the brand effected? This is not the first time the Pepsi brand is underfire but the first during high social media presence.
Several years ago, another Pepsi campaign made mistakes. When expanding into China’s beverage market, their slogan launch translated to Chinese was cultural upsetting to society.
Now in 2017 its more difficult than ever with social media and viral marketing being societies heartbreak, brands instantly know if marketing campaigns are successful or not.
Creating a backdrop especially mimicking political issues is a difficult task to connect with an audience. An emotional connection, especially wanting to connect to millennial is ambitious when throwing it into the mix.
Pepsi didn’t get the emotional response intended.
It wasn’t genuine.
If your not part of current affairs politically, this commercial – you can shrug it off. A young good looking police officer without proper riot gear at a protest wearing a baseball cap made him look out of place as much as model handing the officer a Pepsi.
There was not authenticity.
Jenner is a model that people may recognize but not for a cause, may be Angela Jolie could be better suited? Solving the worlds problems with a Pepsi does not fix societal issues.
We do know that the Pepsi brand was trying to evoke an emotion that the world is better place when bringing people together not tearing us apart.
What could Pepsi have done better?
Maybe not doing it at all – but really a test audience is key when marketing a campaigns to figure outfit a campaign elicits a positive response or not. A brand like Pepsi I would think would do that even if the campaign came from within the in house marketing department.
This ad strategy did not work for Pepsi but that doesn’t mean that the can’t learn from their mistakes and next time to the time out to be genuine.