Brow Beat

30 Questions for Pepsi About Its Protest Imagery–Inspired Soda Commercial

1. What type of role does Pepsi believe cola can play in the resistance?

2. What, exactly, are these people supposed to be protesting?

3. Does Pepsi really think that protesters carry signs saying, simply, “Join the conversation”?

4. Was this roughly the content of one of your brainstorms: “What should the Asian guy be doing? Playing a stringed instrument?”

5. Who provided the helicopter to get that guy on the roof so he could play his cello?

6. Has anyone ever gotten that sweaty playing the cello?


7. Wouldn’t a viola be more appropriate to bring to a public protest?

8. Who are the politically disengaged women eating lunch and drinking Pepsi, and why are they included in this commercial when they never even join the protest?

9. Was this commercial directed by the dankyougene guy?


10. Why are the only people dancing black?

11. Where’s Katy Perry?

12. When you painted Pepsi blue over the brick in the cello player’s loft, did you ever think, “Maybe we’re taking this a little too far”?

Still taken from the commercial


13. Why does Kendall Jenner briefly visit a wind duct on Bespin as she transforms from model to activist?

14. What lip stain was Kendall wearing that she thought she could remove it just by wiping her mouth on her hand?

15. Is Kendall actually wearing a different, lighter lip stain later in the commercial?

16. When did she find time to apply it?

17. Are there other wigs and/or lip stains under that final look?

18. Does this say “Join the conversation” in kanji?

Still taken from the commercial


19. Were the police expecting trouble from the notorious Nothing in Particular movement?

20. Is it Pepsi’s view that the act of handing an armed police officer a can of soda should be the millennial generation’s version of putting a daisy in a rifle barrel?

21. Did no one ever tell that police officer that it is unwise to accept drinks from strangers?


22. Why is Kendall Jenner wearing a jacket with a picture of Japan on the back?

Still taken from the commercial


23. Is the jacket a possible reference to fellow model Karlie Kloss, who recently stirred controversy with an ill-advised Japanese-inspired Vogue photo shoot?

24. Was the jacket made by the same designer who made Ryan Gosling’s jacket from Drive?

25. Was “woke bae” Matt McGorry too busy planning his own feminist march to play the cop?

26. Seriously though, where is Katy Perry?

27. If this ad wasn’t made by the dankyougene guy, was it created by the same person who wrote Cinnabon’s regrettable tweet about Carrie Fisher?

28. Why does this ad feel like a baby boomer’s vague imagining of what appeals to millennials?

29. Would you like us to buy the world a Coke?


30. Sorry, we don’t have Coke. Is Pepsi OK?

*Update, April 5, 2017, 1:15 p.m.: Pepsi has announced that the company is pulling the commercial.