11 Apr 2017

S.N.L to Pepsi – what were you thinking?

On Sunday, Saturday Night Live (SNL) released their parody video to the ever still shocking Pepsi advert, showing what can happen when you don’t get an outside perspective.

We enter in the middle of the film shoot and meet the director hailed as having the singular vision for this ad. His sister calls, and he is proud to share with her his idea… that is until she gives her feedback! Not completely deterred he shares his vision with a guy ‘Doug’ and then a ‘black neighbour’, both of whom try to bring him back to reality. This all culminates in him trying to run away.

The parody manages to nail Pepsi’s insensitivity towards Black Lives Matter, it’s racial stereotyping, and a masterful avoidance of any political viewpoint ‘join the conversation’.

Watch here


There can be no way so many Pepsi execs saw their ad and thought ‘Great idea, we are going to change the world… with a Pepsi!’

The Pepsi ad “LIVE FOR NOW” was created by Pepsico’s in-house creative agency ‘Creators League Studio’.

Formed last year PepsiCo’s president Brad Jakeman said “he didn’t like the structure ad agencies created. There is no infrastructure to advertisers to be able to quickly produce that content. You have to patch it together. Certainly, the traditional agencies can’t do it.”

What makes things worse is that this isn’t the first time PepsiCo has faced controversy over an advert, in 2003 they release an advert for Mountain dew which was shortly pulled after it faced allegations of being racially insensitive… it was bad!

Maybe Pepsi needs to take a little more time when creating content.

At Don’t Panic we are quite partial to a politically motivated message. We make them from both a light and a harsh standpoint.

Our latest Video for Unison looks at the lack of funding for health workers, and the sanctioning of 15 minute visits to support the elderly and vulnerable, we took a lighter approach and shot the video as a 15 minute care makeover to show how the government has effectively trivialised this sector.

Whereas our campaign for Save The Children took a more dramatic stance localising the plight of Syria’s children.

PepsiCo, Brad Jakeman said “Instead of five pieces of content a year, a brand like Pepsi needs about 5,000 pieces of content a year. Instead of taking six months to develop an ad, we have six hours or six days.”

Hopefully, this ad shows Pepsi what having a mass amount of internal bias and clear lack of outside perspective and apparently ‘six hours’ can achieve. Maybe they will reconsider their view on agencies… if not here’s to the next one, and the next SNL parody.