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The commercial elicited a flurry of criticism from members of its target audience and public influencers.

Messaging is a highly nuanced process that is made more complex with a culturally and demographically diverse target audience. Even companies on the Fortune 500 list make mistakes aligning their message with a defined target audience.

In 2017, Pepsi released a two-minute commercial with a multimillion dollar production value that featured Kendall Jenner, one of the stars of the E! reality TV program Keeping Up with the Kardashians. The ad was slated to be a huge promotional moment for Pepsi. However, the commercial elicited a flurry of criticism from members of its target audience and public influencers.

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Watch the video by following this link: Kendall Jenner Stars in Heavily Criticized Pepsi Ad (2:39).

For this discussion, imagine you’re a crisis management employee in Pepsi’s marketing department assigned to a special projects team. Your task is to determine what went wrong in the creation of the “Live for Now” advertisement.

For your initial post, respond to the following questions:

What elements of the Pepsi “Live for Now” advertisement were poorly constructed?
What were the unintended consequences of the advertisement’s message?
Did the criticism of this ad affect the company’s sales, reputation, or brand image?

For your two response posts, read the first posts of two of your classmates. Then, based on their analysis of the “Live for Now” ad, respond to the following questions:

What could Pepsi have done to avoid the mistakes identified in your classmate’s analysis?
What about the advertisement’s target audience did Pepsi fail to understand?
Can you provide an example of another company’s advertising campaign and explain what you think the company did right or wrong in aligning its message with its target audience?

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