I regret to inform you that the struggle is over.
Why didn't y'all tell me that all of our current problems could be solved with an ice cold Pepsi in a can? I've been busy taking off of work to go to marches, donating to Black Lives Matter, reading Audre Lorde and teaching myself to knit pink hats.
And for what? All this time I've been drinking Coca-Cola products like some kind of oppressor. I am complicit! I am Coke-plicit.
Yesterday Pepsi ended all of our pressing social justice issues in a new commercial spot entitled "Really?! So Many People Had to Sign Off On This. Really?"
I'm sorry, that's not the actual title. It's actually "Jump In" as in, "Hey, if you're not doing anything this Thursday, jump on in this protest and, you know, change the world, etc."
It's like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Jump on up that mountaintop and grab your freedom, etc."
Why they titled the spot "Jump In" and didn't ask the Pointer Sisters to provide the soundtrack, I'll never understand. You want to talk about injustice, Pepsi? This is injustice. The lack of royality checks in Ruth Pointer's mailbox is a justice issue.
But, good news everyone (except Ruth Pointer): all other justice issues are over.
In the full two-minute spot, we see all of humanity taking a break from their everyday lives and joining a protest-no, sorry, a leisurely stroll-test-for… peace? The signs say peace, but there is also a tub of ice cold Pepsi and everyone is smiling and clapping so this might actually just be Coachella.
Is this Coachella? Are we at a street festival?
No! And I'll tell you how I know it? Because there are some swarthy cops harshing everyone's mellow and etc.,
How are they harshing everyone's mellow? They're standing, sort of in a line, not wearing riot gear or anything, protecting a hedge or a bush. That bush is anti-peace. (That feels like a politically loaded sentence, but, like from 2002.)
So, anyway, the scene is fraught, honey. My heart was in my throat the whole time. And you know what's good for washing down your heart? An ice-cold Pepsi!
The centerpiece of the ad, of course, is our American Lord and Savior Kendall Jenner. In the spot, she's in the middle of a high fashion shoot wearing a blonde wig when she sees the teeming dozens of Resist-ish millennials ambling by. Realizing that they need a leader, she immediately leaves the shoot (which feels like a breach of contract, but there are no contracts in the Pepsistance. Only love).
Kendall rips off her blonde wig and steps into the Woke-en-nator™, a wonderful new machine that musses up your hair and gives you a Bachelor's degree in Sociology. It definitely plays "Wake Me Up" by Evanescence while it's working its magic on you.
This video is like the origin story for a new Marvel superhero named Social Justice Warrior Person.
We'll get to what happens after she emerges from the Wokenator in a moment, but first a few questions:
- Why does she need to take off a wig?
- Why is she wearing a wig in the first place? I'm confused by this company that's like "We want a Kendall Jenner type but blonde." Is she deceiving them? Is this all a long promo for the new series Imposters? Normally, I'm like "Yas wigs!" but today I'm like "Hm. Wigs."
This is fantastic drag but confusing dramaturgy.
Anyway, if I'm understanding the message correctly, Pepsi wants us to rip off our wigs of prejudice and shake our intersectional brown locks for freedom. Cool. Crisp. Refreshing.
Newly brunette she takes to the streets, stopping by a taco truck and signing up for raffles at a couple of tables selling bath fitters and gutter cleaning services.
But wait, SJWP's social justice sense is tingling. Something is not right at this street fair. Oh right! The swarthy cops!
She spots the swarthiest-his name is probably Marc-and sidles up to him with an ice-cold refreshing can of Pepsi. He's like, "What black magic is this? (No offense.)" And everyone just loses their minds. The woman in the hijab is delighted! The API man is overjoyed! The black man keeps singing "How lucky we are to be alive right now."
And…well, that's it. Marc drinks his Pepsi, Kendall gives a "woo-hoo" and suddenly women have reproductive rights and access to comprehensive healthcare without barriers. Everyone applauds and cheers and is like "wasn't extreme vetting super weird? Anyway, let's wash those thoughts away with an ice-cold Pepsi!"
This has been a banner week for resistance beverages. Earlier this week, Ivanka Trump's neighbor, Dianne, brought us Resistance Rosé and now we have the Protest Pepsi! My thirst for justice has never been so quenched.
Follow R. Eric Thomas on Twitter.
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