By now you’ve probably already watched Pepsi’s head-scratcher of a commercial starring Kendall Jenner, which blandly co-opts the imagery of political protestors to sell cola. (It certainly raised questions here at Slate.) Pepsi pulled the ad on Wednesday afternoon after widespread backlash, but that didn’t stop late-night hosts from thoroughly mocking the company for its misstep.
Stephen Colbert praised the ad for uniting our divided nation, since it seems to have angered people on both sides of the aisle. While addressing the commercial in his monologue (starting from about the 5:16 mark), Colbert called the ad a protest for “Attractive Lives Matter” before lampooning the vagueness of signs that say “Peace” and “Join the conversation.”
“They might as well be holding signs that say ‘We Are All the Core Demographic,’” quipped Colbert.
Trevor Noah took the opportunity to make a jab at Kim Kardashian’s sex tape while talking about Kendall Jenner’s involvement in the commercial: “Once again we see a Kardashian in a video being put in an awkward position.” He also had some suggestions for other brands to get “woke,” like Coca-Cola’s polar bear mascot addressing climate change or Nelson Mandela uniting black and white South Africans with Oreos.
Jimmy Fallon took aim at the ad while discussing the volatile global political climate. "I saw that today North Korea conducted a missile test, which escalated tensions in the region," he said in his monologue. "But don't worry, things settled down when Kendall Jenner stepped in and handed them a Pepsi."
The team at Late Night With Seth Meyers had the darkest take on the commercial, offering up their own grimmer, more realistic ending that imagined what would happen if a black woman, not Kendall Jenner, had handed a police officer a drink. The results, as you might guess, were not cheers and hugs this time.