Pepsi has turned to the Kardashian clan for its next supermodel ad star. Kendall Jenner, half-sister to Kim, Khloé and Kourtney Kardashian, is featured in a new ad called "Jump In" that represents the next chapter in the soda brand's "Live for Now" campaign.
The ad is by PepsiCo's in-house content creation arm, Creators League Studio, which continues to gain major assignments from the marketer. Ms. Jenner follows in a long line of celebrities that have fronted Pepsi campaigns over the decades, including Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and Beyoncé.
In coverage of the new ad, Hollywood media today began drawing comparisons to Cindy Crawford, who famously appeared in a steamy 1992 Super Bowl ad for the brand. That seems like an overhyped comparison considering that Ms. Crawford's ad -- in which she appeared in jean shorts and a tight tank top as two boys gawked -- is considered one of the best Pepsi Super Bowl ads.
In the new ad, Ms. Jenner is shown doing a modeling shoot before she decides to join some sort of nondescript peace/protest march. The ads ends as she hands a policeman a Pepsi, which for some reason elicits cheers from the crowd. The ad "captures the spirit and actions of those people that jump into every moment," Pepsi said in a statement. "It features multiple lives, stories and emotional connections that show passion, joy, unbound and uninhibited moments. No matter the occasion, big or small, these are the moments that make us feel alive."
The Daily Mail's biggest takeaway concerned Ms. Jenner's hair. "Kendall's new hairstyle is cropped at shoulder-length, just like her natural, glossy cropped 'do, but it's a temporary change for the fashionista who was in fact wearing a hair piece," the newspaper reported in a story about the ad shoot in Bangkok, Thailand. "Unlike sisters Khloe, Kim, Kylie and Kourtney, Kendall has never dyed her natural, raven hair."
Her hair is actually part of the ad's storyline: She flings the wig aside before joining the march. The spot's soundtrack is "Lions" by Skip Marley.
Ms. Jenner, in a statement provided by Pepsi, said: "I am thrilled to join the legendary roster of icons who have represented their generations and worked with Pepsi. To me, Pepsi is more than just a beverage -- it registers as a pop culture icon and a lifestyle that shares a voice with the generation of today. The spirit of Pepsi -- living in the 'now' moment -- is one that I believe in. I make a conscious effort in my everyday life and travels to enjoy every experience of today."
UPDATE: Pepsi has received criticism from some quarters. Tell us what you think: