Pepsi, Kendall Jenner protest ad criticized as tone deaf

A new ad featuring Jenner appearing to bring a protest to an end by sharing Pepsi has been slammed on social media, with some calling out the commercial for exploiting the Black Lives Matter movement.
4:40 | 04/05/17

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Transcript for Pepsi, Kendall Jenner protest ad criticized as tone deaf
with the families. To that ad sparking a lot of outrage out there. Critics are calling it tone deaf and linsey Davis is here with more. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning, Michael. 21-year-old kepdz is the first mod toll get a big Pepsi ad since Cindy Crawford in 1992 but that's being overshadowed where many are calling it tasteless saying it takes advantage of serious issues and movements to sell soda. This morning, a new Pepsi ad is falling flat getting a major backlash on social media. At the center of the controversial soft drink commercial, model and Kardashian sister kepdz seen participating in a high-end photo shoot as the streets flood with political protesters. Some are calling out the scene for exploiting the black lives matter movement. Jenner quickly ditches her high fashion shoot to join the masses. The model then appears to bring an end to the protests just by sharing a Pepsi with a police officer. Pepsi says the ad is meant to be a short film about letting go and following your passions, an attempt to appeal to a younger demographic but many are noting the similarity between the image of Jenner and the officer to this widely circulated photo of black lives matter aisha Evans when she approached police at a demonstration in Baton Rouge. Twitter erupted overnight with tweets like, I've been studying commercials for 30 years. Kendall's Pepsi add is legitimately the worst one I've ever seen. And how nice of Kendall Jenner to stop in the middle of her photo shoot to end social injustices by giving that cop a Pepsi. Mlk who? Rosa who? Pepsi is defending the ad saying it reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony. One tweet about the commercial that's getting thousands of likes and retweets is one that theorizes this Pepsi ad is so bad it must be an ad for coke. Ouch. But that's just one theory. Let's talk a little bit more about this and bring in entertainment expert Larry Hackett. This is, I mean, crust crushing, these responses online and really is built up into quite a frenzy. What do you believe was Pepsi's initial intention for creating a commercial like this? You can imagine the meeting where Pepsi was saying we need to get more relevant. Young people aren't drinking enough soda. They're drinking pomegranate and sports drinks so they looked at their interviews and bar graphs about the various things people wanted and said, okay, they're more tolerant of different races and more socially active then got involved and they like protests of the let's throw that in. They like celebrity and like the Kardashian, let's throw her in. When you put those ingredients all sound fine together like pepperoni and Snickers and grapes, you put that all in a pot, doesn't taste very good. And that's -- Doesn't sound very good. That's what you have here. You know, again, created in some Frankenstein lab of advertising and this is what you wented up with. Pretending she's walking off a commercial while being in the middle of a commercial. So they're trying -- look all advertise something a compression of ideas into a very small spot. If you look at the super bowl and the coke ad or the Budweiser ad or the 84 lumber ad, you know, those are narrative that is work and very, very effective. This, again, on paper something they thought would work out but it didn't. It's going to produce these kinds of memes and commentary and what Pepsi wanted was relevant and an association with young people. Now they'll become the laughingstock. What kind of effect could have this? It will have this effect in terms of the bottom line, not much. It's a massive company. They may not sell as much soda to people. I don't think it will have an effect on Kendall Jenner. It isn't her fault but I think it's going to be a cautionary tale for marketers. Can a commercial tap into a movement successfully without offending? In 1971 there was the coke ad I'd like to teach the world to sing. That took place on a hilltop with attractive young people singing a song. It may have been insipid but it was in a world craving a kind of separation from all the tumult of the 1960s and it wasn't really engaging with all the elms out there but referring to them but not directly. That worked and was a perfect element and perfect for its time. Do you think they have to pull it. I think they're going to pull it. I don't think they can withstand this kind of abuse. It's just going to be one joke after another. I admire they're trying to defend it and 7:30 in the morning that we're talking about is not Pepsi was looking for at least not in this way. Those explosive allegations

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