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An Open Letter to Pepsi

September 7, 2011

Dear Pepsi,

Too much of the internet is used as a soapbox to complain, or spout angry opinions. And when it comes to things “born in the Carolinas” I try even harder to be positive. But Pepsi. Oh Pepsi. We need to stage an intervention for the atrocities that you have been calling “marketing” this summer. Namely, commercials in which you blatantly steal from your biggest rival, Coca-Cola.

In case anyone needs to be reminded, here are the two commercials we’ll be discussing today.

Santa on Vacation 

Suntanned Polar Bears

First, are you so desperate for attention and customers that you can’t even come up with your own spoke-people or animals? I know you guys peaked when Britney Spears was in your commercial, but you can’t just give up! We all go through creativity slumps, but stealing from others is not the answer. Unless you steal from several sources and then it’s called research.

But to steal the Coca-cola Santa Claus and the polar bears from them and try to use them for yourself? I understand that neither of those things were created by Coca-cola, but they have long been the images used by them. You even acknowledge in the Santa spot that he is a spokesman for Coca-cola

Second, could you have made each of the characters any more annoying? First of all, Santa clearly does not vacation like a drunk co-ed in Daytona Beach. So it just seems stupid that you would even try to make us believe that a magical man with jolly eyes and a kind spirit would do such a thing. Obviously, Santa spends his summers at a lake in Minnesota. Everybody with half an imagination knows that.

Every time I hear him say “I wanna have some fuuuun” in a way that suggests he’s been getting high from an overuse of Axe body spray, I want to have a bonfire with everything I own that has Santa’s face on it. You have come *this close* to ruining Santa for me. Why do you hate Christmas and saints from centuries ago? Why do you hate happiness and magic?

Now let’s talk about that other ad. Really? A suntanned polar bear? Nobody took a minute to think about that and wonder if maybe it’s not the most ridiculous idea since pajama jeans? May I make a suggestion, because I’m going to anyway? Fire whoever came up with that and then hire me to take their place. Not only do I promise not to steal spokesmen from other companies, I will never—never—try to pull off using a suntanned bear in a commercial.

And again, what is up with the toolbag accent? Polar bears are not “brahs.” Santa’s elves are not “brahs” who say “Nice!” like they’re at a strip club. None of these characters should be talking like their life goal is joining a fraternity and getting a discount on a keg of Coors Light.

None of this makes sense unless you’re trying to convince tools to drink Pepsi.

Last but not least (and we’re going to get technical here), Summer time is not Pepsi time, and you know why? Studies have shown that people prefer the taste of Coca-cola when the beverage in question is not cold. Pepsi, I’m sorry to say, isn’t that great anyway, and when you drink it in the summer and it gets even remotely close to warm, it drops another 100 points on the scale of Things that are Delicious. I’m not making this up—I learned about this study in college. People all over the world agree that Coke is better, especially when it’s not cold.

So seriously Pepsi. Do us all a favor and get rid of anything with even the slightest hint of thievery and bro-ness. Years from now you’ll be able to look back on this and realize you learned a lot, and maybe they’ll make a episode of Mad Men about it.*

Your friend,


*I’ve never actually seen an episode of Mad Men, but I’m assuming that Don Draper sleeps with women and then they all go out for brunch to talk about what makes advertising good or bad.

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