Thursday, April 13, 2017
Smells like cynicism
I told myself last week that I was not going to chime in on the Kendall Jenner Pepsi debacle. After all so many others had jumped on this brown fizzy sugar water disaster it didn't seem like there was anything to add.
Then again, I thought, it's Thursday, I've exhausted my supply of odd iPhone photo's and Trump memes, why not?
I think we can all agree, the three minute film was three minutes too long.
Though it was shot well, with plenty of production value, it was wrong. I did find it amusing that some of my colleagues who found fault in the film were so willing to lay the blame on advertising's current social pariahs -- white men.
Conveniently ignoring the fact that the ad was created, written and produced by Pepsi's in-house Creative League. Here's a link to their Instagram page.
If that's not the picture of diversity, I don't know what is.
There were other issues as well. Shooting the spot in Thailand to avoid paying Americans residuals. Cultural appropriation. Even the protest signage sparked some offense.
I'd remind these folks that little Syrian children lost their lives last week because of an ancient 1300 year old rift between one group of fairy tale believers (the Shia) and another group of fairy tale believers (the Sunni.) Maybe this isn't the best time to empty the I-Take-Offense Vault.
That said, my biggest issue with this ad comes down to the Smell Test.
As do many ads these days that are so detached from the real world one has to wonder, "What the fuck were they thinking?"
Thanks to Bob Hoffman we know what they were thinking:
Here's a thought. Can we put a stop to all this aspirational marketing manure and the round the bend contrivances?
I like a toaster oven that toasts my bread, not one that empowers the breakfast.
I like a car that feels comfortable and has some giddy up, not one that dares me to dare greatly.
I like a tortilla chip that tastes good, not one that enhances my shareable moments with like-minded tortilla chip lovers.
Freud (and you young kids can look him up) put it best, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."