Sunday, February 20, 2011
Pepsi Max Ad
I do not believe this commercial is offensive. It is the nature of commercials, especially Super Bowl commercials, to be over the top and almost cartoonish in nature. At the core of this commercial, we have a couple that is attempting to eat healthier. The husband is not as faithful as the wife and is constantly being "repremanded." However, they come to agreement by drinking Pepsi Max. Of course, this would be dull for a Super Bowl ad. Both of their characteristics are increased for comic effect. The husband's wandering eye goes from beyond unhealthy foods to female joggers, while the wife's determination turns into physical punishment. This is basically a modern day episode of "Bugs Bunny." Nothing offensive was intended. It's just slapstick.
It can be argued that stereotypes of race and gender make this commercial offensive, though. I would pose this question in response: Is there a way to do this commercial in a non-offensive way? People would still find it offensive if the characters were different. If the couple was white and the jogger was black, then you would have a white woman attacking a black woman, which would be equally racist and just as controversial. If all of the characters were of the same race, then it could be argued that the people casting the actors were not hiring with racial equality. Also, a change in gender would be even more offensive. Imagine a husband punishing his wife throughout this whole commercial. All of a sudden Pepsi would be supporting domestic violence.
The Pepsi Corporation obviously does not support domestic abuse, nor does it promote racial stereotypes. They are a business. They want everyone to buy their product. I argue that this is nothing more than a silly, slightly obnoxious commercial. In fact, I think that it was created in the least offensive way possible.