A few weeks ago, Pepsi decided to try to bridge the racial divide with what someone must have thought was a great idea. They ran an ad featuring Kendall Jenner, who, in the ad, tried to show police and African-Americans that their lives matter by letting a cop drink Pepsi.
Here it is:
The internet hated it (which might have been the point):
Within 48 hours the video got nearly 1.6 million views on YouTube (five times as many downvotes as upvotes), and Twitter and Facebook lit up with people pointing out just how gauche the whole thing was. Activist DeRay Mckesson called it “trash,” adding “If I had carried Pepsi I guess I never would’ve gotten arrested. Who knew?” People made memes (some even reaching back and evoking Pepper Spray Cop). And, rightfully, many folks pointed out that using protest imagery in order to peddle soda—particularly images that evoked the photo of Ieshia Evans facing down police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana last year—was pretty tasteless. It was one of the few times the internet ever agreed on anything.
Whether in response to Pepsi’s ad that never should have been, or whether this began organically, Heineken beer had their own version of an ad that addresses the political divide, but they got it right.
In an experiment, they had complete strangers who would hate each other under normal circumstances, and put them in situations that created bonding. Guess how it ends. Here it is:
It won the internet.
— Hayley Jones (@meetmissjoness) April 27, 2017
— Navid Mokhberi (@navidmg) April 27, 2017
— 💡DENKYUU MEDIA💡 (@DenkyuuMedia) April 27, 2017
Omg can we be a Heineken school instead of a Pepsi school
— stretched thin (@DomzNoriega) April 27, 2017
— Ignacio Contreras (@IgnacioTechie) April 27, 2017
It even got the attention of some celebrities:
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) April 26, 2017
Not everyone loved it, though.
That heineken ad…never ok to out a trans person. We could LITERALLY be assaulted, murdered, raped, lose jobs etc b/c you opened your mouth
— TheBlackDorianGray (@QueeringPsych) April 27, 2017
Even with a few dissenters (we found one), the ad did what it set out to do — bridge divides.
Featured image via screen capture from embedded video