Twitter users mock controversial Pepsi ad with Arab Spring jokes

Arab Twitter users are linking the clip to the Arab Spring protests which flared up in 2011. (Photo courtesy: Twitter)
Updated 10 April 2017
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Twitter users mock controversial Pepsi ad with Arab Spring jokes

DUBAI: As the controversy over Pepsi’s ill-fated advert with Kendall Jenner mounts, with the beverage giant pulling the ad and apologizing on Wednesday, Twitter users are making a host of Arab Spring-related jokes.
Arab social media users have taken to the Internet in droves after the advert garnered international backlash online.
The ad shows Kendall Jenner, a member of the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” reality TV family, stepping away from a modeling shoot to join a crowd of smiling, young protesters. The protesters cheer after Jenner hands a can of Pepsi to a police officer, who takes a sip.
However, social media users slammed the clip, saying it made light of the recent spate of protests in the US.

“When you imagine the time period that they were conceiving shooting this, it's easy to imagine that the team at Pepsi thought they were making a courageous global epic about unity during a time of rising racial-nationalist, xenophobic populism,” CEO Mark DiMassimo of DiMassimo Goldstein, a New York-based branding agency, told Arab News.

“Celebrity, Thailand, corporate America, the in-house agency, good intentions [were] all major distortion fields - sometimes great marketers make great errors,” he added.

“The protest movement (in the advert), with echoes of Black Lives Matter, is presented as something light and fun, like a big old frat party that's open to everyone … There's flirting and hook-ups and unlikely musical collaborations and a lot of smiles. One wonders why these people are protesting when they are so happy. In the end, Kendall Jenner hands the Pepsi to the least threatening looking cop ever, and his smirk is reminiscent of the final frame of a Mentos “Freshmaker” commercial or that look on mom’s face at the end of an old Sunny D spot. Cheesy.”

After initially defending the advert, Pepsi on Wednesday issues an apology, stating: “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding… Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologize.”

“If they had been ready to go the full [Donald] Trump playbook and stand behind it and then double down with more action... I still think they could have gotten a lot out of it,” DiMassimo said, adding: “Great advertising is a reflection of the good will that already exists amongst the target audience… I think Pepsi overestimated the good will of this new generation.”


In a sign of the supposed fading of good will, Arab Twitter users are linking the clip to the Arab Spring protests which flared up in 2011.
“Now we know the solution to oppressive Middle East governments is Pepsi. The problem with the Arab Spring is that it was powered by “Bibsi’,” one user joked, referring to the typically Arab pronunciation of the word “Pepsi.”

“Pepsi would’ve made the Arab Spring revolutions a lot more loving and less violent,” another user tweeted.

Another user sighed “if only the Arab spring had Pepsi cola.”

“Tiananmen Square and the Arab Spring should’ve never happened if they had Kendall Jenner and a can of @pepsi,” one Twitter user surmised.

PepsiCo. Inc. had previously said the ad was created by its in-house team and that it would “be seen globally across TV and digital” platforms.
It initially described the spot as featuring “multiple lives, stories and emotional connections that show passion, joy, unbound and uninhibited moments. No matter the occasion, big or small, these are the moments that make us feel alive.” That description was also derided on social media.
The Purchase, New York, company had stood by the ad late Tuesday. By Wednesday, it was apologizing to Jenner for putting her “in this position.”

 

(With the Associated Press)


Apple to roll out new Snoopy, Peanuts cartoon series

Updated 15 December 2018
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Apple to roll out new Snoopy, Peanuts cartoon series

  • The agreement between Apple and DHX Media is another example of the Apple brand’s ambition
  • The commitment is for DHX to produce a new animated series, specials and short programs around the Peanuts gang, a bunch of kids with the dog Snoopy.

NEW YORK: Apple will produce a new animated series starring Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, created by the late American cartoonist Charles Schulz, for its video platform, a source close to the deal said Friday, confirming press reports.
The agreement was reached with Apple, “in a highly competitive environment” and at the expense of other candidates, with the Canadian group DHX Media, which holds 80% of the rights of Snoopy and Peanuts, said the source.
DHX bought this stake, as well as rights to Peanuts gang member Peppermint Patty, for $345 million in 2017.
The commitment is for DHX to produce a new animated series, specials and short programs around the Peanuts gang, a bunch of kids with the dog Snoopy.
The Canadian group will also create educational programs including the Peanuts gang, exclusively for Apple, around space and the conquest of space.
The agreement between Apple and DHX Media is another example of the Apple brand’s ambition, given the launch, announced by several media in 2019, of its own video-on-demand service offering exclusive content.
Until now, the video content available on the iTunes platform was produced by third parties and accessible one by one, not as a subscription.
Schulz wrote and illustrated the Peanuts cartoon strip starting in 1950. The final strip ran in newspapers one day after his death in February 2000, according to the Charles M. Schulz Museum.