By now, I’m sure most everyone has seen/heard about the latest ad from Pepsi geared toward Millennials. Pepsi intended to “project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding”. What ended up happening was a Twitter firestorm. In 48 hours, the video saw almost 1.6 million views on YouTube with five times as many downvotes as upvotes. Social media lit up with criticism of the ad calling it disrespectful and tone-deaf.
Pepsi promptly pulled the ad just one day after they released it and apologized saying “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.”
Whether you agree with their decision to pull the ad, one thing is clear. People are talking. It also got me thinking. Social media is now so powerful that it has put a stop to a global company’s ad campaign.