After Pepsi launched their ad campaign which showed Kendall Jenner handing a Pepsi to a police officer, the company immediately started getting bombarded with hate generated by Black Lives Matter. Sensing a marketing opportunity, SodaStream jumped on the bandwagon by insulting the heroes of law enforcement, all in a ploy to direct the cop-haters over to their product.
Pepsi was attacked for their depiction of police, with people saying that it showed Kendall Jenner "curing racism" with a can of Pepsi. You can see the breakdown and video of the ad HERE.
Pepsi eventually caved to the pressure and issued an apology.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. 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. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position,” Pepsi said in a statement.
We do not hold any grudges against Pepsi for pulling their ads. Sure, it showed that the company won't stand up to the haters, but the ad was never a pro-police ad in the first place, so pulling it isn't a slight against police. I assume that Pepsi never meant to get involved in controversy with their ad, so backpedaling to avoid controversy is no surprise.
However, SodaStream intentionally stepped into the controversy and made it pretty clear that they support Black Lives Matter, and not law enforcement.
SodaStream issued a press release over PR Newswire about the Pepsi controversy:
The spot launched today and is already inciting social-media outrage for making light of political protests and appearing to appropriate the Black Lives Matter movement to sell soda. In the ad, Jenner's calm offer of a can of soda to a police officer seems to mimic a now-iconic photo of Ieshia Evans, a demonstrator who was detained by law enforcement while protesting the shooting death of Alton Sterling at the hands of police.
"Clearly the soda and bottled-water industry will stop at nothing to sell products, even making light of harsh realities, fears and prejudices that citizens face every day," said CEO Daniel Birnbaum of SodaStream, a company that makes home water purification attachments. "Now, in addition to polluting our oceans with plastic, they're using recent protests against police brutality to sell cans of soda? I say to Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi -- you're better than this. You know it and the world knows it."
Not only is SodaStream making their support of Black Lives Matter clear, they refer to the false narrative of Black Lives Matter as a reality. And it leaves me to wonder how many people missed the fact that while SodaStream is criticizing Pepsi for using this controversy to sell products, SodaStream actually issued a press release to take advantage of that very same controversy!
For those who are unfamiliar with SodaStream they are a company that makes machines which convert your tap water into carbonated water. Their machines require the use of their obscenely overpriced CO2 cartridges, making the homemade carbonated water not much cheaper than buying pre-made carbonated water in the store.
To justify the price, their marketing has been focusing on saving the environment by reducing plastic bottle usage.
The company is also encouraging people to snap selfies about what real social change means to them. The same people who criticized Pepsi for "appropriating" social movements aren't criticizing SodaStream about this PR stunt, apparently because the company states its negative feelings about cops.
My opinion on Pepsi hasn't changed too much after this whole incident, but I'll certainly be telling everybody I know to stay away from the cop-bashing company, SodaStream. Please share and let police-supporting Americans know how this company really feels about police.