As soon as Kendall Jenner’s new Pepsi ad hit the web, it was lambasted for its tone-deaf message. The clip saw the model/reality star distracted from her job by a group of aimless protestors throwing up rock signs and drinking soda. The overly privileged white woman then joined the march — because it’s the cool thing to do, obviously — and appeared to solve all our country’s social and racial injustices by giving a cop an ice cold can of sugary soft drink. The ad trivialized and appropriated the political movements sweeping the country in such a cynical way it almost became satire. In fact, it was satire 18 years ago when The Chemical Brothers did the same thing.
Actress Rosario Dawson pointed out on Twitter that the Jenner/Pepsi collaboration looked eerily familiar to the Chemical Brothers’ 1999 video for “Out of Control” in which she starred. The video saw Dawson playing a gutsy rebel with impossibly impeccable makeup bringing an end to revolution by opening a bottle of the fictionalized Viva Cola. As the story ends, however, the camera pulls back to reveal the whole thing has been a TV commercial that only serves to further anger the real-life protestors.
“Eerily reminiscent of Chemical Brothers ‘Out Of Control’ vid we shot in Mexico City ~15 yrs ago,” Dawson said of Pepsi’s new ad on Twitter, “sadly minus the point.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, not long after this comparison spread across the Internet, Pepsi pulled Jenner’s ad from its YouTube page (you can still see it below, however). “Pepsi was trying to project a global a message of unity, peace and understanding,” the cola company said in a statement. “Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologise. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologise for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
Apparently, the revolution may be televised, but it will not be monetized. Check out the “Out of Control” video below.