Ad Nauseam

Notes from a Pepsi Ad Executive

“Pepsi Pulls Ad Accused of Trivializing Black Lives Matter”—New York Times, April 5, 2017


So, what’s hot now? Let’s see…Millennial activism. Black Lives Matter. Ladies be brunching. The question is: HOW DO WE MAKE THIS ABOUT PEPSI?

Of course, we have to keep our core demo in mind so let’s keep the “protest” ambiguous. Is it a march for equality or a neighborhood block party? Are they lining up for human rights or the latest Cronut? Nobody should really know.

And the signs should be meaningless strings of words that seem controversial but are definitely not. This isn’t a Superbowl ad, OK?! Think: motivational posters a kindergarten teacher would put in her classroom or something your mom would text you before you get on a long flight.

What else? Obviously, the star has to be a white female between the ages of 18 and still-looks-18.

But I don’t need to remind you that Pepsi is a global brand. I’m talking multiple ethnicities in the distant background. One and a half must have cornrows.

I don’t want to say token Muslim but we need a token Muslim.

LOVING the female empowerment message—it means so much to teach young girls that you can’t be an activist and a blonde. That’s feminism, folks!

The ending is SO GREAT—I can’t believe we’re going to be known for solving racism!—but can we get more of a close-up of that cop smirking? I want it to feel like he’s objectifying Kendall but also humanizing the crisis at the same time. I want him to have a little bit of a perv vibe, just for cinematic tension. Like, is he thinking “I’m totally going to bang her” or “Maybe we should stop killing black people willy nilly?” Bring that cognitive dissonance to life, people!!



 

Written by Yelena Shuster

Yelena Shuster

Yelena Shuster has written for the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, InStyle, Mashable & more fake news. The Columbia grad also helps students perfect admissions essays. Let’s schmooze: @YelenaShuster.

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