The election (and subsequent presidency) of Donald Trump were galvanizing moments for a lot of Americans, energizing and activating people to call their representatives, take to the streets in protest, and do everything in their power to resist the current White House regime. But the post-Trump liberal wave just wouldn’t be a real cultural movement without a big corporation doing everything in its power to commodify and commercialize it, so thank god Pepsi is here to lend it a giant, monolithic hand.
The company has released a new commercial today, awkwardly titled “Live For Now Moments Anthem,” that presents drinking its corporate sugar water as the ultimate act of hip rebellion for the anti-establishment artist on the move. The ad shows a number of cool, multi-cultural youths joining a growing march of smiling “protesters,” all hefting signs with politics-neutral slogans like “Join the conversation” and “Peace,” spelled out in Pepsi-friendly colors. Meanwhile, model Kendall Jenner watches the “Everything Is Great” parade—which seems less concerned with asserting women’s rights or condemning Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric, than with taking the world’s most woke selfies—from afar, watching pensively before shedding her blonde wig to join in and solve the problems of police brutality with a simple can of pop.
The obvious attempts to co-opt the actual counter-culture in favor of a TV-safe, easily packaged message of corporate-assisted tolerance, put us in mind of another famous feel-good soda commercial. It also inspired this artist’s recreation of how Pepsi’s latest ad probably came to be.