The Super Bowl is less than a week away, which means I should probably Google which teams are playing. Or not. Whatever. But what it really means is that all the brands are starting to release their big Super Bowl commercials, I guess because even the advertisers know that all the guys at your Super Bowl party are going to talk over the commercials and you won’t be able to hear anything. If I had to make predictions, I’d say that we’ll probably see a ton of Budweiser commercials, some random ads that will make you cry, maybe a good Dorito’s one, and a lot of celebrities schilling products they’d never actually use. In the spirit of that last category, let’s talk about the brand new Pepsi ad that just dropped this morning.
The commercial is called “More Than OK,” and it features appearances by Steve Carell, Lil Jon, and, most importantly, Cardi B. That sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, and I’ve got to wonder what amphetamine-fueled meeting conceived of this grouping of people. The premise of the ad is that someone tries to order Coke at a restaurant and the waiter asks if Pepsi is okay, and I’ve got to say, I appreciate that Pepsi is finally saying what we’ve all been thinking our entire lives. I hope Coke comes out with this exact commercial, but the woman ordering says “No of course Pepsi isn’t okay” and the commercial ends there.
But anyway, back to Cardi B. I do find it pretty interesting that Cardi is agreeing to do Super Bowl ads, considering that she turned down the halftime show over the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick. Like, Pepsi isn’t personally responsible, but Cardi is still profiting off the Super Bowl, even if indirectly. It’s a little questionable of a move, but then again, I’m not one to fault a woman for getting her check.
Cardi B’s political choices aside, Pepsi clearly spent a lot of money putting this commercial together. Super Bowl ad time is unbelievably expensive, and celebs aren’t cheap either. I did some digging, and found out what all of these stars typically charge as a booking fee. Lil Jon is the cheapest of the bunch, at 25-40K, but Cardi B can go as high as half a million dollars. I’m not positive about Steve Carell, but by the time he left The Office, he was making several hundred thousand dollars per episode, so I’m sure he made a nice chunk of Pepsi change. The best part is that Pepsi was able to book all these celebrities directly through the Fyre app! Just kidding, that app was conceptually flawed from the beginning!
Pepsi has a long history of paying top celebrities to be in its commercials, from iconic ads with Michael Jackson and Britney Spears to train wrecks like the Kendall Jenner commercial. You know who doesn’t really do that sh*t? Coke. Pepsi totally knows—and now outwardly admits—that nobody wants to drink their product, so they constantly chase after the biggest star they can get to say they like it. But just like the Kardashians hawking waist trainers on Instagram, there are plenty of people who will buy something just because a celebrity claims to use it.
Images: Shutterstock; Pepsi / YouTube
This week, Pepsi released the commercial for their new “Live For Now Moments Anthem” campaign (which is a fucking mouthful and what does it mean??), and to say people are unimpressed would be an understatement. In times like this, it seemed like there was nothing that could unite the American public, but Pepsi and Kendall Jenner have managed to do it by offending literally every single person with this bizarre ad. We’re going to break it down for you, but we recommend first watching the video in its entirety here. Do it now while you still can—we have a feeling it’s not going to be up for much longer.
Basically, the painfully long ad shows an off-brand Black Lives Matter march going down the street where Kendall Jenner happens to be doing a photoshoot. Because anyone who’s ever been to a protest knows that a closed-off street with hundreds to thousands of people crushed up against each other like sardines, marching along at a snail’s pace while chanting, is the perfect place to shoot some fashion ad.
I mean, this has got to be the weakest protest ever. “Join the conversation”? That’s not a call to action. That would be like if I showed up to the Women’s March like “Hey misogynistic men, can you guys kindly consider giving women equal rights and we can talk about bodily autonomy later? No? OK.”
Here we have Kendall, sporting a blonde wig and some Lala Kent hoops. The hoops are irrelevant but the wig will become important later.
^This is what democracy looks like!
Kendall sees this protest going on all of a sudden—because apparently she hasn’t checked social media in the past week to see all the Facebook event RSVPs, I guess—and gets this look in her eyes that says “What are all those poor people doing down there? Don’t they know inside is where the air conditioning is?”
BUT THEN it all changes when a semi-cute guy with a cello on his back locks eyes with Kendall and gives her The Nod. She rips off her wig, smears her lipstick (the ultimate “fuck you” to the patriarchy) and joins the protestors, while the photographers are like “Bitch WTF you have a job to do, we get paid by the hour.” Kendall doesn’t care, though—she’s got a movement to join!
She makes her way to the front and grabs a Pepsi on the way—because all protests come equipped with buckets of free Pepsi on ice—and greets a line of police officers with an ice-cold can of Pepsi.
And just like that, we solved the issue of police brutality, guys! Kendall turns back to the protestors, who are all cheering her on for her heroic act of bravery. And to think, all those policemen who killed unarmed people of color were just thirsty! Can we add that we all know that if there was one soda to unite us all, it would be Diet Coke? Anyway. Everybody is happy, and one of the police officers definitely thinks he’s gonna fuck Kendall later. You can tell because he turns to his police buddy and gives him the following look:
If that doesn’t say “I’m SO gonna hit that,” then I don’t know what does.
The whole plot of the commercial is very questionable, but for Pepsi to think someone like Kendall Jenner would be the right person to convey their pseudo-social justice message in the first place is more than a little alarming. Like, they could’ve easily used that cute Muslim girl with the head covering, but instead she was basically just Kendall’s adoring fan with a chunky video camera from the late 90s.
What’s really the most laughable, though, is that the face of this “movement,” Kendall Jenner, is a rich white reality TV star with a questionable blonde wig—sound like anyone we know? IRL Kendall is probably not mad about the tax breaks she’ll be getting as a super rich person, and she definitely has never had to worry about the police getting up in her business for no reason (let alone worrying about not making it out of that interaction alive… but OK yeah you’re right I’ll leave that part to Salon). In fact, the only “protest” she’s been spotted at was that one year when the Chanel show was protest themed. It’s v unclear how the people at Pepsi thought this would go over well, but someone is definitely gonna lose their job over this.
Bottom line? Kendall’s a cute girl, but she’s clearly not the one who should be starring in commercials that are supposed to make any sort of political statement. At least leave that to Shailene Woodley or something. And also Diet Coke is far superior to Pepsi and we’re very offended that Kendall would imply otherwise. That’s all.