How Might Pepsi Set Precedent For Meaningful Social Dialogue?


Photo via TV Line.

As we may know by now, Pepsi and Kendall Jenner are both on the receiving end of a very controversial advertising campaign which was originally posted on YouTube on Tuesday April 4, 2017.

I don’t traditionally address topics pertaining to trendy pop culture headlines. However, due to the massive reaction of this incident in particular, I feel more than compelled to address what can we learn from Pepsi’s mistake. In addition, I also hope that we can use this opportunity as a catalyst to create meaningful conversation, discussion, and dialogue in an effort to improve the condition of our planet and humanity across the globe.

Yesterday morning, Thursday April 6, 2017, I happened to come across Pepsi’s following press release via Twitter.

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Upon first sight, I was slightly unsettled when I read, “We did not intend to make light of any serious issue.” My first thought after reading this sentence were the three words, “any serious issue.” According to my observations and due to the overwhelming reaction to this campaign, it seems as though this advertisement turned out to be a lot more than just any serious issue. In the eyes of many, any political and social protest is a very serious issue.

Naturally, as a result of what I had observed, I felt a burning desire and responsibility to address the current issue at hand from a perspective and outlook which can inspire people to connect, engage, and transform the landscape of our current society.

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Later on in the day, after I returned from work, I felt as though is was only right for me to record a video in an effort to address and voice the following questions and concerns:

  • Can positive social action remedy negative social reaction? (6:25)
  • How can a huge mistake lead to a groundbreaking opportunity? (7:23)
  • Who needs to take action? (9:59)
  • How can we thrive if we divide? (15:13)
  • “This is an opportunity to bridge.” – Bernice A. King (16:13)
  • We all make mistakes! (18:02)
  • How can we correct our mistakes? (18:45)
  • How can we as people effectively articulate our concerns? (19:54)
  • Who’s going to lead the charge? (21:06)
  • What does leading the charge entail? (22:49)
  • The time is NOW! (23:38)

In closing, I believe that now is the perfect time to turn our intention into action. Now is the time to lead a charge where our mission is to correct the many negative deeds of humanity. The time is NOW. The moment is NOW. The second is NOW!


(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Brand Strategist, Cultural Curator, and Educator. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies and organizations such as Cornerstone Agency, City Year Miami, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and their consumers centered around love. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.