Pepsi’s ad featuring Kendall Jenner defusing a tense protest with a soda can has backfired spectacularly, explains the Guardian’s Julia Carrie Wong. According to her, the ad trivialises the suffering behind the protests riddling the US, demonstrating how removed from reality the company is. Wong mocks Pepsi’s attempt to funnel social progress rhetoric into enthusiasm for its product. She insinuates that, out of touch and almost dismissive of black suffering, Pepsi’s ad highlights everything that is wrong with corporations shamelessly looking for profit wherever they can.
Notwithstanding Pepsi’s tone-deafness, the ad offers a much-needed soothing alternative to the highly distressing political climate of the present-day US, writes Ian Bogost of the Atlantic. He agrees that it clearly didn't make any valuable social commentary but that wasn’t the goal. According to him, while some Americans engage in tense political times with protest, others thirst for a calming reality, where sharing a can of Pepsi is the solution. Bogost theorises that the company appeals to them and capitalises on the publicity whirlwind.