Pepsi really tried it in its latest stunt.
The brand came under fire on Tuesday after releasing a nearly 3-minute ad starring Kendall Jenner. In the video, Jenner stops mid-photo shoot and throws off her blond wig (into the hands of a black woman) to join a protest and save the day by giving a police officer a soda.
Social media users are calling out Pepsi for co-opting and capitalizing off of resistance movements that real people actually risk their lives and freedom over. The fact that they use one of the least politically active celebrities to do it just adds insult to injury.
The global campaign ad is tone-deaf, offensive and shallow, but unfortunately, it’s not the first of its kind. Other brands, including Sony, Tory Burch and Gap, have created advertisements that they could’ve kept to themselves.
Feel free to roll your eyes at these seven ads:
In March, the fashion company premiered an ad starring white models dancing to "Juju On That Beat,"
a song and dance created and popularized by young black people. Not only was the video painful to watch, but it featured no black models at all. They managed to give a monkey-shaped purse some camera time, though.
The German skin care company recently released a deodorant ad featuring a long-haired white woman wearing all white with the slogan "White is purity." After being slammed as racist
, the company pulled the ad.
In the 2016 video, which sparked widespread outrage
, a Chinese woman pushes a black man into a washing machine to "cleanse" him of his color. He then emerges from the machines as a Chinese man.
The clothing company came under fire last year when its campaign, meant to empower girls, featured a black girl being used as an "armrest" for a taller white girl. Many people pointed out that while the white children were striking powerful poses, the black girl appeared as a passive token
Cosmetic company Seoul Secret, based in Thailand, released a 2016 ad
featuring a model discussing the value of having fair skin. “If I stop taking care of myself, everything I have worked for, the whiteness I have invested in, may be lost,” she says in the video. As she speaks on the career misfortunes that would happen if she stopped her skin-lightening regimen, her skin begins to darken as a second model remains with fair skin. “White makes you win,” she says, adding that the advertised product “helps you not return to black.”
In 2011, Nivea released a magazine ad featuring a clean-shaven black man preparing to throw a black mask that sported an afro and beard. The ad read, “Look like you give a damn ... Re-civilize yourself.” The skin care company eventually apologized
after receiving backlash.
The tech company pulled its 2006 Dutch campaign ad depicting a stern white woman grabbing a black woman by the face after it drew criticism in the United States. The ad, which read "white is coming," was meant to promote the new white PlayStation Portable console, but it really looked like it was promoting modern-day slavery.