Welcome to Ad Nauseam, my bi-weekly blog devoted to the best–or worst–or most interesting– ad I've seen during the week. New Ad Nauseam blogs post every Monday on www.connorjonesstudio.com/adnauseam
Well, as if the Kardashians could get much worse
If ever there was a family hell-bent on doing whatever it takes to whore the spotlight, its the Jenner-Kardashians. What started as a silicon-constructed sex tape reveal and has since grown into a – sigh – enterprising phenomenon is really just a circus of delicate egos and stolen limelight. Sadly, America is infatuated with the "lovable" train wreck, as it easily grows attached to any scandalous, high-profile tabloid headlines (see Marilyn Monroe-Kennedy, Tiger Woods, et al.)
All of that infatuation has inevitably spilled over and the Jenners and Kardashians have started appearing in and influencing media around the world. Oh, I wish I was only talking about Kimoji. No, I am more worried about the latest gem in Kendall Jenner's film reel: The ill-fated Pepsi protest commercial. If you haven't, watch it below; I bet you can't look away from the horror.
WELL. Overlooking the obvious question of "what the hell is a cellist doing on a high rise rooftop?" there's still no explanation as to what these people were protesting, or why Pepsi-blue was the primary color for their movement. Or, what a photographer who was skilled and high profile enough to need assistants, was doing photographing a semi-celebrity model on the steps of what can only be described as a bank.
Okay, so there's literally nothing that makes sense about this spot, but I don't intend to play a post-mortem jockey here. There are many beautifully worded critiques on this ad all over the internet. I'm more interested in how this ad was made. There were copywriters and story board artists, art directors and script approval teams. There were casting agents and extras, camera operators and makeup artists. There were publicists and executives and hopefully, at least one screen test on a peer audience. I know what they all do, and how the physical content was produced in actuality. What seems so outrageously telling of the nature of Creators League Studio, Pepsi's in-house agency (the group that produced the spot) is that not one person had an inkling about how the ad would be received.
Is it perhaps that the studio is too closely related to Pepsi, and an exec got too attached to their brainchild? Is it that they genuinely believed that a Black Lives Matter-esque mock protest was the best vehicle to sell more pop to a generation that largely stands up for their rights and beliefs? These questions are certainly what need to be weighed in the wake of this dumpster fire, if not a complete restructuring of Pepsi's content teams, who incidentally might be needing that dumpster fire to keep warm at night from now on.