Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Is that Pepsi ad that bad?

Sometimes I think that we have all become just too precious and indeed bigoted. I am inclined to want to present counter views, but have learned on progressive topics in particular to be very careful for fear of getting my head bitten off.

Gay marriage is an example. I am on the public record, here and elsewhere, as supporting it. Yet when I very gently try to present the arguments against in conversation, my head disappears from my shoulders. You can see something of the same process in the campus disputes over who should be allowed to speak, to present views that may be counter (or may be seen to be counter) to the prevailing orthodoxy within some groups.

A case in point is the latest Pepsi ad. The wave of protest against the ad seems to fit with what I see as growing intolerance, the need to conform with what is seen as correct.    

With the exception of one scene, it's not a bad ad. Indeed, it is actually a quite effective presentation of multiculturalism. Yes, it attempts to identify Pepsi with protest and modern younger views, it is (to use a modern word I hate) appropriating a meme, but it also legitimizes the things that it presents.

The ad follows. What do you think? Perhaps its just another case of me being out of touch?


Anonymous said...

The complaint against this ad seems similar to the complaint against Woolworths over ANZAC stuff last year.

I guess you're also thinking of the kerfuffle about the Cooper's ad.

Meanwhile, as I've just been reading Sheila Fitzpatrick's (remaindered at $6, you can have my copy when I've finished it) book about Stalin's team, let's risk Godwin's law and have, say, a Stolichnaya ad featuring a genial and anachronous dialogue between (say) Stalin and Disraeli about the emancipation of the Jews. Do you think that would sell vodka?

Not of course a really accurate pair, since Disraeli was baptised at the age of 12 and so escaped any disability and Jews were theoretically emancipated in Russia by the time JS took such a set against them.

Anonymous said...

Things I want to understand:

1) how can that girl start out in a gold sheath but end up in blue jeans and a tank top?
2) where are the short, fat, old, white dudes? Speaking of which:
3) is it even statistically possible to have so many minority representations converge at once?
4) where is the outrage at the appropriation of that Vietnam-era image of the kid putting a flower in the gun?
5) given that the word 'Pepsi' has not floated across my mind for maybe 20 years, why is this advertisement considered a 'fail'?

@marcellous, your tagline could be "Stolichnaya sets you free"


Jim Belshaw said...

That sounds an interesting book, marcellous. By the way, I had to look Godwin's law up. I had completely forgotten it!

"Stolichnaya sets you free". I like it. One could make a very "bad" ad using some of
Stalin's creatures. It would be more effective than Stalin and Disraeli. Although I can probably think of some possibilities there.

I said that the Pepsi ad was not a bad ad. I was thinking in terms, I guess, of production values. But it is certainly overloaded with "appropriate" images! Given Pepsi's market position, perhaps the ad isn't a fail after all (to pick up kvd's point) given the coverage.

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2 tanners said...

Leave the spam comment above me in, it seems curiously appropriate.

I thought it was a pretty, dumb ad like coke and pepsi ads from time immemorial. No fat white blokes because fat white blokes aspire to be young and fit, whatever the reality. I'm really stretching but I think one of the two had a short-lived "Think young!" motto in maybe the '70s.

Jim Belshaw said...

I will leave that spam comment. It does somehow seem appropriate, 2t. Checking, it seems to have been Pepsi - "for those who think young" in 1963 or thereabouts

Anonymous said...

"Think different" could'a been a winner, I always thought.


Jim Belshaw said...

For some reason I thought that Pepsi had used that, but appears to have been apple!