It is safe to say that Pepsi’s latest ad, which seemed to suggest a sugary artificial beverage is all you need to solve police brutality, caused an overwhelming wave of outrage on social media.
The cringeworthy video — from the buzzword-happy march of stock-photo-looking millennials to a random subplot about a Muslim photographer — reaches its grotesque climax when privileged, white Kendall Jenner acts as a peacemaker between police and cheering demonstrators by handing a riot cop a can of Pepsi.
Pepsi is all you need, apparently.
Besides all the funny jokes, the ad echoes a 1999 video by the Chemical Brothers for the single “Out of Control,” as writer Dorian Lynksey first pointed out on Twitter:
The music video, directed by W.I.Z., stars Rosario Dawson and Michel Brown as EZLN revolutionaries standing off against Mexican police forces.
Just like in the Pepsi ad — minus the self-aware, parodic intent — the protesters have a soda to thank for solving conflict with police.
In this case, Dawson downs a bottle of a brown, sugary drink called “Viva Cola”, in front of thirsty cops:
Just as Michel Brown throws a Coca-Molotov which at the end of the arch reveals itself to be just an ad. “In the heat of the moment — serve chilled,” reads the motto.
As the camera pans out to reveal it being screened in a shop, real riots wage in the streets. The storefront is smashed and the video ends with footage of violent protests.
It’s an ironic, dark commentary on the power of advertising — 18 years before that Pepsi video.