By now, you’ve probably watched Pepsi’s cringe-inducing (and short-lived) new ad featuring Kendall Jenner — and if not, The Washington Post’s Elahe Izadi broke it down so you don’t have to.
It’s an understatement to say the ad fell flat.
The resulting memes, however, did not.
The ad was eviscerated by people who accused Pepsi of appropriating serious political and social-justice movements to sell soda.
In a statement to Teen Vogue on Tuesday, Pepsi at first defended the commercial as depicting “various groups of people embracing a spontaneous moment … to live life unbounded, unfiltered and uninhibited.”
But on Wednesday, Pepsi reversed course, announcing it was pulling the ad and putting a stop to the campaign.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” the company said in a statement. “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize. 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.”
By then, it was too late. The Internet had already embraced its own “spontaneous moment” — by uniting to take Pepsi to task with some ferocious memes.
… from the civil rights movement to the present — sarcastically suggesting everything could have been different if only protesters had had a Pepsi.
"Yo Kendall, im gonna need you to come through with a pepsi, these cops are wildin" pic.twitter.com/dOpKnTq8LU
— Kim Jong Tun (@ignant_) April 5, 2017
"Hold on hold on, she's coming over with the Pepsi and you'll see that this is just one big misunderstanding" pic.twitter.com/NHe29hyrWw
— Agony Wofa (@ProfessorKumi) April 5, 2017
"STOP GUYS! I have a Pepsi multi pack in my car!!" pic.twitter.com/0BamCseHUo
— Ojuelepogba (@Chenyboi) April 5, 2017
if only she'd given them a pepsi pic.twitter.com/rVM8jkJrG4
— darkwing duck fan (@vmochama) April 4, 2017
— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) April 4, 2017
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) April 5, 2017
when you get a free pepsi but remember you still get to use the tear gas for no reason anyway pic.twitter.com/WQjNQYBTjp
— CONWAY TWEETY (@edsbs) April 5, 2017
*kendall jenner hands cop a pepsi*
cop: im not racist anymore
— BRANDON WARDELL (@BRANDONWARDELL) April 4, 2017
When she thinks the can of Pepsi is going to stop you from pepper spraying the nearest person of color pic.twitter.com/XMDfg8s02G
— Zito (@_Zeets) April 4, 2017
"license and registration and step outta car. Are carrying a Pepsi? I know alotta you are" pic.twitter.com/jf9BCUZwFE
— Intellectual Killah (@IAmPhillyC) April 5, 2017
— Socratically Adan (@manicsocratic) April 4, 2017
You should have seen the rejected Pepsi commercial. pic.twitter.com/1NR23KCuwk
— Wallace Wylie (@WallaceWylie) April 4, 2017
Pepsi Exec: We need to boost sales. What are the youth into these days?
Exec: good. we endorse it. but make it subtle pic.twitter.com/uiwxJWuVV2
— Discount Chris Pratt (@thelollcano) April 5, 2017
SECRETARY OF STATE REX TILLERSON STATEMENT ON NORTH KOREA:
"We have placed a single can of Pepsi at the North Korean border. Their move."
— Mark Lisanti (@marklisanti) April 5, 2017
So we should just give Putin & Assad & Trump a can of Pepsi & everything will be fine?
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) April 4, 2017
Pepsi has always been on the wrong side of history pic.twitter.com/JZxR05Drpk
— Gene Park (@GenePark) April 5, 2017
This post has been updated.