Someone ‘Fixed’ The Pepsi Ad So It Features Real Protesters, And It’s Awesome

Pepsi faced intense backlash last week after the company debuted an advertisement featuring Kendall Jenner wading through a political protest to hand a can of soda to a police officer. By depicting a whitewashed view of political protest, critics said, Pepsi was taking advantage of increased activism without doing anything to help the causes it hoped to profit from.

The ad was eventually pulled and Pepsi apologized on April 5. But a day later, the production company ThirtyRev released its own version of the commercial ― this one featuring real protesters at Standing Rock fighting to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“Hey @pepsi...don’t worry we fixed it for u,” the company said in a tweet.

For the video, ThirtyRev laid the same song used in the Pepsi ad, Skip Marley’s “Lions,” over powerful footage of water protectors at Standing Rock continuing to protest in the face of intense police opposition. Near the end of the ad, the Pepsi logo flashes across the screen alongside the words “Water Is Life.”

The final product, which is simply titled “Fixed Pepsi Ad,” is a powerful tribute to the men and women who actually put their lives on the line for the causes they believe in.

Joseph von Meding, a filmmaker at ThirtyRev, told Business Insider that when he first saw the original Pepsi ad it bothered him. “It came across as a bunch of advertising execs using a 20- or 30-year-old advertising playbook with a sprinkling of those recent ‘cool protests’ thrown into the mix,” he said.

ThirtyRev strives to create films “that contribute towards making the world a safe, just and sustainable place,” according to the company.

Some 7,200 gallons of concentrated Mountain Dew syrup created a "huge foaming event" and generated environmental concerns after it went down the drain at the Pepsi bottling plant in Howell, Mich., in March 2017. (Photo: Jayne O'Donnell, USA TODAY)

Pepsi mops up 'unusual' Mountain Dew spill

LIVINGSTON, Mich. — Some 7,200 gallons of concentrated Mountain Dew syrup created a "huge foaming event" and generated environmental concerns after it went down the drain, literally, at the Pepsi bottling plant in Livingston last month.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was at the plant on several occasions after a tank ruptured and sent the syrup through a floor drain and into the plant's internal sewer system on March 10, said DEQ Senior Environmental Quality Analyst Carla Davidson.

"A spill of this magnitude is highly unusual,” Davidson said, noting the high-sugar syrup can have a toxic effect on aquatic life if it ends up in rivers, lakes or streams.

Most of the spill was contained, and PepsiCo and city officials said proper procedures were used following the spill. Davidson disagreed.

“They could have chosen to isolate,” Davidson said, noting she did not visit the scene until later, so information about the initial chain of events came from reports submitted by PepsiCo and compiled later by DEQ staff. “They have an equalization basin; they knew there was a spill and they could have tried to isolate it, then have that waste water hauled away to protect the integrity of their pretreatment system.

“That’s what normally we would recommend during a spill event like that,” she added.

Davidson said plant management attempted to treat the problem without outside intervention for two days, until the system became overwhelmed. The DEQ received a call to its Pollution Emergency Alert System line just before midnight on March 12, when the syrup, mixed with a large amount of waste water already in the system, created a “a huge foaming event” and sent an estimated 56,000 gallons of sugary sewage flowing out of the system.

Most of the spilled 56,000 gallons flowed into the onsite stormwater detention basin, where it was contained, Davidson said, while a small amount went into a ditch behind Key Plastics, where an earthen dam was constructed to contain it.

Pepsi also brought in an environmental contractor, and Davidson said when she visited the following Friday, it was evident the soil had been scraped and the area cleaned up.

“As far as impact to the environment, I think Pepsi is cleaning it up, and we’ll be working with them to prevent discharges like this from happening in the future,” Davidson said. “There was not a release to surface water that we know of, so that’s also a positive.”

“They told us a syrup tank ruptured, so one question we will be asking is ‘Why did this happen?’ We want to make sure the other tanks have good structural integrity, and any maintenance needed is done.”

Howell City Manager Shea Charles said he and other city employees were onsite during the days following the spill and said he believed Pepsi followed protocol for such an event.

“We were out there monitoring; it did not get into the public sewer system,” Charles said, noting any waste that spilled on the ground was contained as it froze when temperatures dropped.”

Jennifer Ryan, a New York-based PepsiCo spokesperson, issued this statement via email: “Being good stewards of the environment and the communities in which we operate is one of our highest priorities. When this event occurred we immediately took action to mitigate the impact, and we continue to work collaboratively with our neighbors and local agencies to ensure that our clean-up efforts are in compliance with all applicable regulations and meet our company’s high environmental standards.”

Kendall Jenner ‘traumatised’ by Pepsi advert backlash

It's also been revealed that the ad was shot in Thailand

Kendall Jenner is reportedly ‘lying low’ and feeling ‘traumatised’ after the backlash from her role in the recent controversial Pepsi advert.

The soda giant axed the advert last week – showing the model and reality TV star finishing a photo shoot before handing a can of Pepsi to a police officer who is supervising a protest, seemingly as a goodwill gesture and joining the protest itself. The notion that Pepsi could be used to ease racial tensions caused offence, while the company and ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ star were accused of ‘appropriating the pain and struggle’ of the Black Lives Matter Group.

has been left reeling from the reaction.

“Kendall was grateful for the change,” they said. “She is really traumatized over the Pepsi backlash.”

They continued: “She had such high hopes for it and now she’s terrified she will never work again or become a laughing stock. The world sees her as this glamorous, sophisticated, jet-setting woman, but she’s only 21 and she’s very sensitive. This has been very painful and embarrassing to her.

“She feels like the whole world hates her. She’s never had to deal with this kind of backlash, she’s so upset. Anything offensive is just not her. She means well, always.”

Meanwhile, The Independent reports that a member from the production team has confirmed that the ad was shot in Thailand with a largely local cast.

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

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