The Week Ahead, April 10
Our Week Ahead analyzes the latest strategic marketing and business consulting trends including understanding public relations angles on current news.
This week we will be examining one of the largest advertising misfires in recent memory — Pepsi’s latest commercial.
Pepsi’s commercial featured model, Kendall Jenner, defusing a tense situation between protesters and police, by offering a police officer a Pepsi. Almost immediately after its release, the ad faced widespread criticism accusing Pepsi of trivializing and mimicking images and video of recent protests over social justice issues.
Pepsi responded to the backlash by removing the commercial almost immediately, but the ad still remains in the spotlight. Sketch show, Saturday Night Live even went so far as to feature a bit mocking Pepsi and the writing team behind the ill thought out commercial.
While SNL’s sketch is funny, it also serves to highlight one of the major flaws with using an in-house marketing agency. When brands aren’t working with a third party marketing agency, they run the risk of having bad ideas approved by their coworkers due to bias towards their own ideas. If Pepsi had chosen to hire an independent agency to create their campaign for them, chances are this horrendous idea would not have been approved.
Stay tuned for our upcoming piece which will take an in depth look into Pepsi’s advertising mistakes.