I consider myself a huge Pepsi fan. I’ve always liked Pepsi, and also Mountain Dew. Not to the exclusion of Coke, but if I had to make a snap decision I’d easily give Pepsi the edge. I mourn for the days when their tasty beverage came in glass 16 oz. bottles, with those difficult metal screw caps; the glass was much kinder to the flavor than plastic, and kept it cold longer. (Once my Ministry of Resurrected Products is up and running, those bottles are coming back.)
But being such a fan, I feel a kind of paternal shame whenever they throw their marketing weight behind a musical act I can’t stand. The latest offender is Bruno Mars, who will be doing the Superbowl IIL halftime show. As I mentioned before, I don’t inherently hate Bruno Mars, but the songs of his that I do like come from much earlier in his musical catalog, and the newer ones are ear poison. Yes, I have ranted about this part before. This is more about Pepsi. Although I will say that their ads featuring one of Bruno’s most recent songs have kept getting that song stuck in my head, and that’s hard to forgive.
Pepsi’s marketing when it comes to pop culture has long been poor. If you’ve forgotten their recent “Refresh” campaign, it’s because it was kind of horrendous and your brain is doing you a favor. (And I’m not, by reminding you. Sorry.) It was lots of awful retro crap with some stupid yotz about how every generation refreshes the next. That was their slogan. Dumb dumb dumb.
Anytime the ’70s are painted in the light of nostalgia, I mentally reach for a brick.
And then not long (enough) ago, they had a few ads featuring the execrable Nicki Minaj. If there’s one thing I hate as much as her music (there’s not just one, but roll with it), it’s looking at her stupid stupid face with that pop-eyed expression she does. So those ads were an instant 12-15 on the eponymous rage scale, depending on how quickly I was fast-forwarding or whether I even had the option. Ulgh.
There are other examples, but in the words of the great lawyer Fred Gailey and in much the same spirit, I hesitate to produce them.
Okay, one more: Ludacris.
I’m not mad at you, PepsiCo. I’m just disappointed.