Despite Pepsi’s initial attempts to shield itself from the opening salvo of social media outrage with statements emphasizing its message of harmony, the Council said the ad fell victim to three pitfalls.
“The disconnects here are centered around issues of authenticity, credibility, and co-opting something larger, more meaningful, and more serious,” the Council said in its statement on the matter.
The organization said companies should experiment when they market their products, but suggested PR pros, who are often criticized for inhibiting a “creative’s ‘bold’ ideas,” should counsel clients on “the cultural relevance of the day.”
Pepsi did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The ad was created by PepsiCo’s in-house creative agency, Creators League Studio, according to numerous reports.