Every Can of Pepsi Max Drives an Anxious Calorie to Suicide


These ads are causing a bit of a stink. Variants -- with titles generously supplied by me -- include The Bullet or the Noose? and Puddles of Inferno!.

Are they really that bad?

According to Meredith Corp., 56% of women worry more about weight than disease, so you know there's enough hate surrounding muffin-tops to happily fuel many millions of sordid calorie suicides.

And come on. Who didn't enjoy the Garbage Pail Kids? Or Sin City? Or, hell, the Road Runner cartoons?

That was pure sadism. And what did you do? Shovel in another mouthful of Froot-Loops, that's what.

by Angela Natividad    Dec- 3-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Magazine, Poster   

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Between this Pepsi ad and Diesel Rotting Meat Puppet ad it's hard to believe Motrin took so much heat recently for that Mommy thing.

And check out Advertising Age's cringe-worthy headline pun:
"Pepsi Opens a Vein of Controversy With New Suicide-Themed Ads" (come on, really?)

Just this second I'm reading that they pulled the ad.

Posted by: Michelle McCormack on December 4, 2008 7:40 AM

I'm sure AdAge just couldn't resist. Ads like these put a publication at paints to be clever.

Hmm. So they got pulled, huh?

Posted by: Angela on December 4, 2008 8:42 AM

I don't think the issue is whether this is in poor taste or whether certain topics should be off limits. I think the issue is that this is completely out of left field for a brand like Pepsi.

I mean, this is a huge brand, one of the biggest and oldest. An ad like this suggests that they've completely lost track of any sense of brand values. It just doesn't make sense.

If this ad was for a video game, I'd have no qualms. But for a major cola targeted at calorie counting grown ups? Completely inappropriate.

Posted by: Mario on December 4, 2008 9:30 AM

My brain craves jolts of adrants cerebral cerebrations to dislodge patterns mad with expectations that too often become overloaded earlier and earlier each day during the Holiday Season. Iíve been experiencing irritability, mood swings, tension between the shoulders, a restless leg tick, as well as breast tenderness and bloating so I was sucked in by this suicide themed ad post like lint
to a black dinner jacket.

Iím not saying Iím overly susceptible to advertising's representational content, but the suicide theme just resonates so powerfully with my favorite DTC pharmaceutical disclaimers.

Thank you Adrants.

Happy Holidays!


Posted by: arthur on December 4, 2008 10:01 AM

Mario -- didn't think of it that way. In the context of that anal, weight-watchers state of mind, they probably do feel a little raw.

Arthur -- we live to serve. ;-)

Posted by: Angela on December 4, 2008 10:23 AM

Like 'em or hate 'em you get the point of them. I think it's nice work compared to the typically ignorable stuff usually done for the category.

Nice work.

Posted by: anonymous on December 4, 2008 1:47 PM

This would work as a newspaper satire. This would work as a piece of art. It sounds like the same old mainstream story: If you do something different, you're gonna be attacked for it. Finally, Pepsi stops trying to cram their product down my throat and they start entertaining me (which makes me want a Pepsi even more) but alas I will be bored again soon.

Posted by: Travis Parker on December 4, 2008 4:01 PM

who could deny the entertainment value of blood mists from self-inflicted gun wounds? It's only a cartoon! duh!

Did Pepsi pull the ads because of the adrants buzz or did someone rethink the blood and brains spewings value in light of the increase in suicide rates during the Holidays; particularly during economic crisis or could the slaughter of innocents in Mumbai have influenced the decision?

I hate it when adrants busts an ad and it gets pulled before I can see it!

Posted by: ben on December 4, 2008 4:35 PM


Someone email to Pespi Co and see what they say. Should be funny.
Send to the New York Times too.

Posted by: Dough on December 5, 2008 11:41 AM

Pepsi is insanely stupid for moving forward with this horrendously insensitive and socially irresponsible ad campaign.

I lost a close friend to suicide in 2005. Mental illness is not a joke. Blowing your brains out and hanging yourself is NOT funny.

Suicide is tragic and using it to sell SODA is despicable.

I will never buy any Pepsi Co product again, ever!

Shame on Pepsi!
Shame on Pepsi!
Shame on Pepsi!

Posted by: Christa on December 6, 2008 5:10 PM