Foong Li Mei
May 29, 2017

Activism and ads: a messy marriage

Brands are starting to take on a bigger social role, but not all are adept at negotiating the required sensitivities.

Wide awake: Tata Tea’s latest ‘Jaago re [wake up]’ campaign urges Indian consumers to take action on contentious social issues before tragedy strikes.

Pepsi could have paid closer attention to the anthem it picked for its commercial last month. “This generation You better know who we are,” sings Skip Marley in his song Lions, as a cello player is shown drinking from a can of Pepsi before joining a demonstration.

Viewers found this protest-themed spot harder to swallow. Whether it was the use of white privilege’ poster-child Kendall Jenner to invoke iconic imageries from the Black Lives...

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