Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
A hundred years ago, Coke thought it could teach the world to sing.
Now Pepsi thinks it can create world peace.
You know I'm not joking. Brands are so ambitious these days.
Perhaps you have, within the past 15 seconds, emerged from a month being submerged underground in an effort to find the real Sasquatch habitat.
This must mean you haven't seen the new Pepsi ad that features Kendall Jenner.
UPDATE: Pepsi pulled this ad today.
Because I know you may not be prepared for a sudden shock, I will summarize this ad for you.
There is a protest. Young, gorgeous, Millennial people are marching. I imagine it's because some bad government has been elected and the young people didn't bother voting, but are appalled at whom the ugly, old voters chose.
As this protest is occurring, Jenner is participating in a photo shoot. I can hear you mumble that this is what Jenners do. That's the purpose they serve in society.
But when Jenner sees the protest, she wonders about her purpose. She tortures herself about whether she should be participating for the people, instead of pouting for the camera.
Perhaps she needs to be a spokeswoman for Jenneration Z. Or it is Jenneration Me?
Her decision is influenced by a handsome protester who has a musical instrument. How could she resist this exalted level of social comment?
So she takes off her blond wig and joins the marchers, one of whom carries a sign that says: "Join the Conversation."
Once she sees the cans of Pepsi that have been helpfully made available to our Millennial marchers, she knows what she must do. She must join the conversation too.
She grabs a can and heads toward the police who are looking handsome, mean, and moody as they resist the marchers.
And as the words "We are the movement, this generation, You better know who we are" ring in our ears, Jenner hands one of the police officers her can of Pepsi.
Oh, now we know who this generation is. They're the ones who will actually share their Pepsi.
The police officer drinks from the can. The Millennials celebrate. This is their victory.
Once a police officer drinks a Pepsi, world peace has been achieved, oppression has been vanquished, and we can all live happily ever after in an afterglow of celestial harmony.
It would be unfair to call this ad bilge. Unfair to bilge, that is.
Please forgive me for seeming severe. I spent many years in advertising and this ad contains all the curdled myopia of cynical good intentions.
I'm not alone in noticing that this ad is more misguided than a drunk in a hurricane without his cellphone.
As Twitterer Luisa Haynes mused: "Gasp! Who knew police officers just needed a Pepsi to stop beating and shooting people."
Writer and director X put it even more caustically: "I wish Eric Garner knew all he needed was a Pepsi. Smh."
Or, as the Color of Change pointed out, this seemed a remarkable -- as in truly, madly, awful -- lifting of the scene of Ieshia Evans standing calmly, as riot police stormed toward her in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
For its part, Pepsi issued this statement: "This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that's an important message to convey."
May I translate? "We were trying to suck up to Millennials, who kinda hate soda these days, and we saw that they, like, hate all the oppression in the world too, what with Trump and all that. So we thought this idea was really cool, especially when the great Kendall Jenner agreed to do it. It's, like, you know, Pepsi is now a movement."
Quite. And how did the ad move you?