Data Reveals the Extent of the Backlash to the Kendall Jenner Pepsi Ad

By Gemma Joyce on April 7th 2017

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The Brandwatch React team followed the data surrounding the now canceled Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad, tracking the enormous increase in negative mentions.

Twitter turned on the creators of the now infamous Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad this week.

The ad, which has now been pulled, featured Jenner joining a protest and has been widely criticized.

The Brandwatch React team examined how social media reacted to the ad.

21000%+ increase in mentions

Pepsi’s day-over-day social mentions increased by over 7,300% between April 3rd and 4th as social reacted to the ad.

April 4th saw more than 427,000 mentions of Pepsi on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram alone, with April 5th accumulating another 1.25 million mentions.

The percentage increase in mentions from April 4th to April 5th is over 193%. The percentage increase from April 3rd to April 5th is an astronomical 21,675% increase.

Men and women contributed to the conversation at nearly the same rate, as gender-categorized authors split close to 50/50. Women held the slight majority at 51% of all unique authors.

Plummeting sentiment

People were not pleased with the brand’s commercial.

Looking at sentiment-categorized mentions, April 4th’s conversation sentiment was 53.3% negative. The 5th was more negative still, with 58.6% of mentions categorized as negative.

Looking at Pepsi’s social conversation from the past week, it skews negative (56.4%).

“Tone-deaf”

Within the most common reactions to the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad were people calling the creators “tone-deaf” and wondering who thought the ad, and its concept, was a “good idea.”

Outrage at Pepsi mainly centered around the trivialization of Black Lives Matter protests and hijacking social movements for commercial gain.

Pepsi responded to criticism by pulling the ad and issuing the following statement:

“Pepsi was trying to project a global a message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”

Top-mentioned Twitter handles

One of the conversations’ top tweets came from Bernice King, causing her handle to propel to the second-most mentioned Twitter handle in this conversation, trailing only Pepsi’s. King’s handle received more than 182 million impressions.

 

The star of the ad, Kendall Jenner, has been mentioned in the Pepsi conversation more than 533,000 times in the past seven days.

Her Twitter handle, @KendallJenner, is among the conversation’s most used, with over 385 million impressions from within the Pepsi conversation.

What can be learned?

That Pepsi listened to reactions from their audience and pulled the ad can only be a good thing, but that the ad ever made it onto screens does suggest a lack of understanding.

After a face-palmy week for Pepsi, it’s back to the drawing board for their next campaign.

 

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