The progressive punditry may have killed last week’s Pepsi ad featuring reality TV star Kendall Jenner, but according to a new survey, a plurality of Americans actually liked the commercial, which called for unity in a time of intense political rancor.
Forty-four percent of Americans had a more favorable view of the soda brand after watching the controversial commercial, a new poll by Morning Consult, which surveyed 2,202 people, concluded.
The PepsiCo commercial was online for only a matter of hours before it was yanked following claims by many on social media that the ad was “tone deaf” and tried to profit from the Black Lives Matter movement.
Did Pepsi pull their ad too soon? It turns out a lot of Americans like it: https://t.co/3pq9fg6L1B https://t.co/Ly2zbAYaiy— Morning Consult (@Morning Consult)1492014605.0
In the clip, Jenner, playing the part of a model, is inspired by an apolitical movement sweeping through the streets and decides to leave her job and join the crowd of gleeful protesters. Moments later, the rallygoers are met with a long line of straight-faced police officers.
As the tension between the protesters and the officers builds, the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star hands one of the cops an ice-cold can of Pepsi, coaxing a smile from the officer and igniting cheers, laughter, and applause from the crowd around her.
Many of the ad’s critics said the video was clearly offensive to minorities, who have been at the center of the growing gridlock between the public and law enforcement communities. But according to the new survey, it was members of minority demographics who liked the ad most.
Fifty-one percent of blacks and 75 percent of Hispanics liked the Pepsi advertisement, while only 41 percent of whites came to see the beverage company more favorably after viewing the commercial.
Interestingly, Republicans disliked the ad more than Democrats. After seeing the clip, 29 percent of Republicans said they had a less favorable opinion of Pepsi while only 23 percent of Democrats responded in the same way.
Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., tweeted her opposition to the ad.
If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi. https://t.co/FA6JPrY72V— Be A King (@Be A King)1491408917.0
After pulling the ad, PepsiCo released a statement, saying: “Clearly, we missed the mark and we apologize.”
“We did not intend to make light of any serious issue,” the statement continued. “We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
Morning Consult poll respondents reacted to the advertisement in real time, with Republicans’ reactions in red and Democrats’ in blue.