PepsiCo might be pulling its controversial Kendall Jenner ad but it still faces an uphill struggle to recover from its marketing misstep, observers say.
Experts said the beverage giant was trying to be hip and inject its product in a conversation about marches and the racial protest movement, but the ad comes off as insensitive and lacking in authenticity. Even so, they expect Pepsi will recover from the backlash although they add that the company still faces longer-term issues involving its overall marketing strategy.
"Pepsi has tried a lot of things but somehow they've totally lost their way," said Mike Jackson, a Principal of 2050 Marketing, a Los Angeles–based firm that advises Fortune 500 brands and start-ups. "They just don't seem focused."
The response to the Pepsi ad was swift in social media with people tweeting snide remarks about a Pepsi drink somehow making a difference in marches or protests.
Even Bernice King, the youngest daughter of slain civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., entered the controversy with a biting post: