What I’ve Got: Mimesis (re: That Pepsi x Kendall Jenner Ad & The Chemical Brothers’ “Out of Control”)

by post_author

It’s hard to go a few minutes surfing the web hole without spotting a headline surrounding Pepsi’s biggest flop (presumably since Crystal Pepsi) in the form of its alarmingly tone-deaf, “politically relevant” Kendall Jenner-starring ad. The ad itself is remarkable in illustrating just how far a brand will go in appropriating issues and imagery from protest groups (a la Black Lives Matter) to “stay relevant.” The results, as widely discussed, are as offensive as they are laughably surreal (& have spurred on a whole wave of highly critical internet reaction, provoking Pepsi to later take down the video). Yet, perhaps most interesting out of this whole debacle is the fact that the creative direction behind this advertisement shares a whole lot in common with The Chemical Brothers’ “Out of Control” music video (as expertly pointed out by music criticism site Pitchfork). Is this just a coincidence, especially considering The Chemical Brothers’ video (released nearly two decades ago) maintains a highly political critical tone of messages such as this now infamous Pepsi ad? Or is there perhaps something going on here that we are all missing? 

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