Live for Now

  (Redirected from Live for Now (Pepsi))

"Live for Now", also known as "Live for Now Moments Anthem",[2] is a 2017 short film commercial for Pepsi by PepsiCo featuring Kendall Jenner and the song "Lions" by Skip Marley. The advertisement was pulled after receiving online backlash, with Pepsi and Jenner being accused of trivializing Black Lives Matter and police brutality.

Live for Now
ClientPepsiCo
Product
Directed byMichael Bernard[1]
Music by"Lions" by Skip Marley
Starring

PlotEdit

 
The commercial features Kendall Jenner (pictured in 2014).

The Pepsi commercial features Kendall Jenner and the song "Lions" by Skip Marley.[3] It begins with an Asian cellist on a rooftop. Outside, young people are marching, displaying V signs and carrying signs, including one that says "Join the Conversation". Jenner's character is seen modeling at a photoshoot. A photographer in a hijab notices the march and heads outside.

The cellist walks past Jenner’s photoshoot, and gestures for her to join the march. Jenner removes a blonde wig and hands it to a black woman, wipes off her dark lipstick, and heads toward the march.

Several white police officers are standing in a line formation, watching the march approach them. Jenner appears in a more casual outfit and walks up to the police officers, handing one of the officers a can of Pepsi. The photographer snaps multiple photographs of the interaction. After the police officer drinks from the can, the crowd cheers enthusiastically. The photographer puts aside her camera and hugs someone nearby in celebration.

ProductionEdit

Six people were credited with creating the ad, and The Mirror reported that all were white.[1] Jenner had no involvement in the creative process and no advanced knowledge of the marketing vision. She first knew the storyline when she got the script and moved forward with appearing in the ad.[1]

ReactionEdit

The advertisement was pulled by the company one day after its distribution due to criticism.[4] The company released a statement, saying:

Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.[5]

The advertisement's creators have been widely criticized on social media and by media outlets for attempting to capitalize on imagery imitating protests in the Black Lives Matter movement, including Taking a Stand in Baton Rouge, the iconic image of a woman, named Iesha Evans, who approached heavily armed police alone and was arrested in a Baton Rouge protest in July 2016.[6][7][8] Researchers of branding and marketing have observed the identity politics aspect of the spot depicted by the marching masses, but questioned the credibility of subverting the police towards a "melting pot" model.[9] Bernice King, daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr, remarked, "If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi".[10] Initially, Pepsi stated, "This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that's an important message to convey".[11] According to marketing expert Mike Jackson, part of the problem was that Pepsi did not have a history of promoting social justice causes.[12]

The advertisement was also parodied in a pre-registration trailer for the mobile game Angry Birds Evolution, with a blue bird named Paige and a member of the Bacon Corp's own security force replacing Jenner and the police officer, respectively.[13]

Saturday Night Live made reference to the commercial in a sketch for the April 8, 2017, episode, where the ad's writer and director, played by Beck Bennett, is being chastised for the ad's content by family and friends on the phone just before filming; however, when Jenner (Cecily Strong) discusses the commercial with her friends on the phone, she astutely (albeit unintentionally) explains the true nature of the commercial's plot.[14]

The full advertisement was parodied in the Amazon Prime Video series The Boys, in the fourth episode of the third season. A-Train, as part of his rebranding as a social justice advocate, advertises his line of energy drinks in a near-identical fashion to the Live for Now campaign.[15]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Rahman, Abid (April 6, 2017). "Kendall Jenner Pepsi Commercial: How the "Worst Ad Ever" Came to Be".
  2. ^ "Pepsi's New Kendall Jenner Ad Was So Bad It Actually United the Internet". WIRED.com. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  3. ^ "Kendall Jenner's protest-themed Pepsi ad pulled after backlash". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  4. ^ Victor, Daniel (5 April 2017). "Pepsi Pulls Ad Accused of Trivializing Black Lives Matter". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Hill, Libby (April 5, 2017). "Pepsi apologizes, pulls controversial Kendall Jenner ad". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  6. ^ "After Uproar, Pepsi Halts Rollout Of Controversial Protest-Themed Ad". NPR.org. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  7. ^ Appelbaum, Yoni (July 10, 2016). "A Single Photo From Baton Rouge That's Hard to Forget". The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  8. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (2016-12-16). "Kendall Jenner's Pepsi ad sparks backlash – Apr. 4, 2017". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  9. ^ Kaufmann, Kai (April 5, 2017). "Fizzy drinks as societal points of no return?". Pulse. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  10. ^ Tom Batchelor (2015-08-19). "Pepsi advert with Kendall Jenner pulled after huge backlash". The Independent. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  11. ^ Katie Serena. "Remembering Kendall Jenner's Pepsi ad, which lasted 24 hours longer than it should have". Salon.com. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  12. ^ Mack Hogan. "Kendall Jenner ad uproar 'shows how far Pepsi has fallen': Marketer". Cnbc.com. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  13. ^ "Angry Birds Evolution Pre-Register Trailer". YouTube.
  14. ^ "Pepsi Commercial – SNL". Saturday Night Live. YouTube. 2017-04-09. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  15. ^ Joho, Jess. "How 'The Boys' turned Kendall Jenner's Pepsi ad into biting satire". Mashable. Retrieved 29 June 2022.