Blogs

Sign up to get Captiv8 insights and the latest industry news

ball
ball
ball
ball
ball
ball
ball

Three Reasons Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner Ad “Fell Flat”

Kendall Jenner Pepsi Ad

Beverage-maker Pepsi announced this week it was withdrawing its newest commercial campaign featuring reality-TV star and fashion model Kendall Jenner amid a growing social media backlash. To give you an idea on how this campaign fared during its short viral lifetime, here is some Captiv8 data that further provides audience sentiment:

 

As indicated in the analytics from Captiv8, the campaign skewed negative/neutral with an overwhelming negative average sentiment. By the time of the data pull, the video had an average of 20,836 dislikes – 84% of the total engagement. A variety of comments on Twitter, both from famous personalities (for example, MLK’s daughter Bernice King) and normal users also help explain some of the reasons behind the controversy:

What exactly went wrong? Though plenty of brands have tried to make a political statement in the past, Pepsi seems to have “hit a nerve” given today’s tense political climate. Here are a few factors to consider to help explain what went wrong.

  1. Pepsi didn’t understand their community: One of the defining mantras of today’s social marketing campaigns is “know your audience.” Whatever product your company happens to sell, it’s critical that your social campaign incorporates the values, concerns and dreams of these target customers. The trouble for a mass consumer brand like Pepsi is that in trying to cater to such a wide swath of customers from a huge range of ethnicities, genders, and political affiliations, it ended up angering everybody while pleasing nobody.
  2. Pepsi misunderstood the moment: Another mantra of today’s real-time marketing environment is that brands try to incorporate their messaging into customer conversation. The problem with that is if the conversation happens to be controversial, it’s all too easy to end up “putting your foot in your mouth.” As a number of commenters suggested, Pepsi tried to sanitize recent anti-Trump and Black Lives Matter protests, sweeping aside any non-commercial concerns while ignoring the danger that these protestors sometimes face in having their voices heard.
  3. Pepsi forgot influencer credibility matters on social: Yet another misstep with Pepsi’s recent campaign was the selection of Kendall Jenner herself as the spokesperson. While Jenner may be the ideal face for a fashion or entertainment campaign, it’s hard to believe a reality TV star has any kind of vested interest in today’s political activism.

As Pepsi’s latest campaign illustrates, social marketing can be a delicate balancing act between being “in the moment” and exploiting genuine human moments for commercial gain. How do you strike the right balance for your brand to make sure you’re doing the right thing for your customers and community on social? Talk to the experts at Captiv8 today.

like what you see?

Let’s Create Something Awesome

GET IN TOUCH

© Captiv8, 2019. Terms of Service and Privacy Policy