Pepsi, Kendall Jenner, and brand disaster

Recently, Pepsi pulled a monumental brand disaster of an ad starring Kendall Jenner as the girl who, well, solved social injustice with a fist bump and soda.

The ad was so wrong on so many fronts. Instead of rehashing the minutiae, I’ll simply point you to this story by Adweek that did a fine review of the brand disaster. Words like ‘tone deaf’ and ‘worst ever’ feature prominently.

I was invited on the radio to chat about the ad, dissecting where I believed Pepsi had gone wrong and, more importantly, what other brands could do to avoid the same costly gaffes. My perspective was that this constituted good old fashioned brand overreach – a brand forgetting what business it was in, and trying to co-opt social issues for cynical gain.

To check out the conversation, simply click the play button below. Happy listening!

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