Kendall Jenner's new Pepsi commercial defended by company amid backlash
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/05/2017
Kendall Jenner's controversial new Pepsi commercial is being defended by the company in light of some serious backlash.
The new Pepsi ad features the 21-year-old supermodel posing for a photo shoot as a march full of multi-racial protesters takes place in the streets.
The protesters are holding signs that read "peace," "love" and "join the conversation," and at one point, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star decides to join in. Jenner then grabs a Pepsi can and hands it to a nearby police officer, after which cheers erupt from the crowd.
The ad, titled "Live For Now Moments Anthem," closes with the slogan, "Live bolder, live louder, live for now."
The commercial was released on Tuesday and sparked rage and criticism on social media from people saying Pepsi never should have used imagery and the spirit of current movements such as Black Lives Matter and anti-Donald Trump marches to sell a product.
"This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that's an important message to convey," Pepsi said in a statement obtained by People.
Earlier, the company reportedly said in a statement to Teen Vogue,
"The creative showcases a moment of unity, and a point where multiple storylines converge in the final advert. It depicts various groups of people embracing a spontaneous moment, and showcasing Pepsi's brand rallying cry to 'Live For Now,' in an exploration of what that truly means to live life unbounded, unfiltered and uninhibited."
Many Twitter users made their disapproval of the ad known. The commercial was mocked and called "one of the worst moments in Pepsi history" as well as disrespectful.
One person said Pepsi's ad prompted "brand-destroying laughter," while another user wrote, "Shame on you Pepsi for such a tasteless ad."
Jenner has yet to comment on any of the backlash, but she previously said in a statement about the gig, "The spirit of Pepsi -- living in the 'now' moment -- is one that I believe in. I make a conscious effort in my everyday life and travels to enjoy every experience of today," according to Us Weekly.