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Pepsi’s protest ad gone wrong continues to follow it around online

Pepsi’s protest ad gone wrong continues to follow it around online

In July athlete sponsorships were one of most talked about topics, but in August we saw a rise in conversations surrounding Kendall Jenner and Pepsi in relation to the events in Charlottesville.

After the horrific violence in Charlottesville, many people flocked to social media to share their thoughts and feelings regarding the white nationalist rally and the resulting protests.

While there was an immense amount of love and support being shared online, we also discovered a resurgence in the Kendall Jenner and Pepsi protest meme.

Last quarter, Pepsi released a controversial ad featuring Kendall Jenner joining a random protest and quelling the standoff between protestors and the police by handing the police officer a can of Pepsi. Needless to say, Pepsi and Kendall both faced significant backlash from the stunt, including 78% negative sentiment for Pepsi, leading them to immediately apologize and pull the ad.

Pepsi probably hoped it had buried this controversy, but the internet had already memed Pepsi and Kendall.

As a result of the Pepsi and Kendall meme, conversation volume for Pepsi rose 144% the weekend of the Charlottesville protest. Likewise, Kendall Jenner mentions saw a 131% boost over the weekend as well.

In fact, people talking about Charlottesville were 2.2x more likely to discuss Pepsi and Kendall Jenner than the general population.

Unfortunately for both Pepsi and Kendall, they are now being linked to a protest that they likely want no association with.

In fact, the day after the protest, only 1% of all conversations about Kendall Jenner and Pepsi were positive. While this is clearly an unintended consequence of carelessly venturing into controversial territory, the negative protest association may continue to haunt them for the foreseeable future.

Top five trends of the month

While the events in Charlottesville dominated headlines, here’s a list of the top five trends that you might have missed during the month.

Amit Avner is chief executive and founder of Taykey

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