I normally only discuss digital marketing in this blog, but I was compelled from the Pepsi ad controversy, featuring Kendall Jenner, to discuss how as marketers, we need to learn from advertisement mistakes quickly, regardless of the medium of digital or broadcast. This Pepsi ad mistake should be a lesson to be learned, by all of us marketers.
Unless you've been off the grid, Pepsi released an ad recently that sparked a lot of controversy, featuring Kendall Jenner offering a Pepsi to a police officer, during a protest march, which has been getting a lot of media attention, and not in the best way. As marketers, we need to take note, when one of our marketing campaigns has caused the wrong effect and hurts the company's brand, immediately act. It's hard as marketers to admit, when we've made a mistake, but if we let our egos dictate our actions and not realize that the intentions we set for the campaign came out wrong, then it can result in the irreparable damage to the company's brand that we are supposed to be protecting.
There was a momentous backlash that was exhibited through social media on Twitter and Facebook, and luckily, Pepsi addressed it immediately and removed the ad. In Pepsi's defense, I don't think any of us, as marketers, are trying to cause controversy with our campaigns and I do believe that Pepsi's intention was not to co-op the protest marches as critics have stated, but I do think that when we've missed the marks, we better own it quickly as marketers, to make sure that we don't lose the goodwill of our target audiences. Learn from this everyone, even if your marketing campaign was meant to produce a different action, and it wasn't successful, own it. It's ok to mistakes, as long as we own it.