When fizzy drinks get political

By Richard Rippon, Copywriter

Last month, Pepsi pulled a controversial TV ad following a wave of criticism. The ad features Kendall Jenner, who steps out of a modelling shoot to join a crowd of protesters, and successfully diffuses the tension by offering a Pepsi to a cop.

The ad was condemned by many for trivialising real social causes, such as the Black Lives Matter movement. “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding.”, they said in a statement. “Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologise.”

Weeks later and Heineken’s ‘Worlds Apart’ campaign covers similar ground, pairing people with different views and suggesting that talking – over a beer, naturally – can bring them closer together. It’s almost as cringeworthy, but perhaps more successful than the Pepsi ad. There’s still the suggestion that their magical drink can somehow bring about social and political change. Perhaps it’s all a bit too much to swallow?

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