I just saw a new ad (on British TV) for Pepsi Max, which you can see here:
A guy hits on a woman in a bar, she makes it clear she’s not interested. Then a news item comes on the bar TV saying that an asteroid is about to hit earth. The woman is seen to panic, she and the guy make eye contact, and as everyone else in the bar screams and runs away, she jumps on him in a passionate embrace and they (presumably) have sex on the sticky and beer-soaked floor. Then we see the same guy go behind the scenes to where his mates are standing in what turns out to be a fake TV newsroom, they do high fives and he drinks a Pepsi Max.
I am not lacking a sense of humour. I am not known for political correctness. But hello? If you make a woman think she is about to die in order to have sex with her, that is a bit rapey. Would she have had sex with you otherwise? No – we clearly see her turn the guy down. Was she under extreme emotional duress? Yes – she thinks she and everyone she loves are about to die horribly. Does this make me want to buy Pepsi Max? No, it makes me want to pretend to kidnap the children of the ad execs who came up with this ad in order to get them to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do (like show some semblance of intelligence). Disclaimer: it makes me want to do it, but I wouldn’t, because I am not a jerk, unlike the Pepsi Max-drinking jerk in the ad.
Perhaps they think that any controversy is clever guerilla marketing, and so the ad is win-win. Banned adverts can often help promote a brand, so if this one causes a stink then they get more column inches than they would otherwise have done. Or maybe they’re just clueless. One really really hopes that it’s the former, because if those responsible for this ad think it’s OK to be a bit rapey, I am saddened. I’ll contact Pepsi UK for a comment and let you know what they say.
ETA: @mjrobbins on Twitter just pointed out the dance they do at the end, which we have now dubbed the pack hunt Dance of Rape.
ETA2: This post is getting a lot of geek love on Twitter, I’m commenting there as well as here – if you want to join in I’m @tkingdoll.