Making Ads These Days Is Crazy-Making. No Wonder Someone Greenlit That Pepsi Spot.
What, indeed. "Here’s what middle-age people in the marketing industry know about millennials: They’re diverse, they’re into social causes, they’re self-absorbed, they want to believe in goodness, and above all, they respond to social media cues and influencers. So when an idea bubbles up that suggests playing on the Black Lives Matter and Women’s March protests—but with a generic uplifting message—it doesn’t sound like the worst idea. You populate it with a full rainbow of young Americans: an Asian cellist with a cool loft space, a Muslim woman with a nose piercing and a camera, two girls who might be romantic partners (or maybe just good friends), black Americans, Latinos, and whites whose outfits scan as hipster. You order up a soundtrack that appeals to narcissism: We are the movement, this generation. You allow the director to let it go on for a few minutes, because it won’t air during some sitcom but instead spread socially on YouTube and Facebook. And to make sure it goes viral, you hire one of the biggest social media stars on the planet—a model/reality star followed by 21 million people on Twitter and 77.9 million people on Instagram—to star in it. It’s tough out there for an advertising executive, but you’ve finally got something that checks all your boxes. What could go wrong?"