The most well-known and arguably most successful social movement of all time was Martin Luther’s 95 Theses which he prominently nailed to the door of the Whittenberg Castle Church in 1517. The Protestant Reformation which subsequently took root in Western Europe changed the complexion of Christianity worldwide, leaving lasting changes in our culture henceforth.
If PepsiCola existed in 1517, is it likely that the company would have contracted Martin Luther to be the Kendall Jenner of his time to offer a Pepsi to a Cardinal Thomas Cajetan in a moment of solidarity and therefore forging a lasting truce between Protestants and Catholics? Maybe.
If Pepsi had, at least it would have had cultural significance demonstrating an understanding of the pivotal historical pertinence of the break in the Holy Church and how desperate parties can be united through kind and simple gestures. We will never know.
The point is that Pepsi failed to capture this most pertinent time in history. Like the late 1960s before, we are in a turbulent period where a new generation of idealists are challenging what they see as the societal status quo. Pepsi could have, if not should have taken this opportunity to demonstrate their appreciation and respect for social causes of our times and using their product as a symbol of unity and mutual respect - that didn’t happen. The adage is that if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. This appears to be the case with Pepsi. The company filed to stand for social movements and has fallen hard in public opinion.