The Boys Perfectly Spoofed Pepsi’s Infamous Kendall Jenner Ad
One thing that The Boys has in common with its sometime satirical target Marvel Cinematic Universe is that neither franchise wants to get rid of a great character if it doesn’t have to. So, similar to how Marvel has given Loki (Tom Hiddleston) more and more to do after his villainous turns in Thor and The Avengers, we’ve seen The Boys keep characters like The Deep (Chace Crawford) and A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) in the fold after their own largely villainous turns in Season 1. A-Train in particular became something of a hopeless ally to our heroes in Season 2, and in Season 3 has been undergoing a crisis. And, of course, with every celebrity crisis comes an accompanying celebrity rebrand.
A-Train’s rebrand, as we’ve seen, has come with the sort of soulless “social responsibility” that you’ll see just about any time you turn on the TV or start scrolling social media. While in the Season 3 premiere episodes this surfaced in a new uniform and a doomed movie pitch, Episode 4, “Glorious Five Year Plan,” took things up a notch. In this episode, A-Train’s rebrand included a lengthy ad for his signature soft drink, “Turbo Rush.” And in the ad, A-Train happens upon a protest, where police in riot gear are standing by on patrol.
A-Train checks it out, and when it looks like things may be getting a bit testy, he uses his super speed to intervene. He hands one of the police officers a can of Turbo Rush, and all of a sudden the tension is gone, and a party has begun. Protesters are cheering, cops are dancing, and everyone’s having a great time. “We’ve got to listen to each other,” the fastest man in The Seven says at the end of the ad.
Sound familiar? It should, because it’s an incredibly spot-on parody of an actual Pepsi ad that aired—starring Kendall Jenner in the A-Train role—back in 2017. The difference? The Boys’ version was meant to be funny. Pepsi’s was just incredibly short-sighted.
A-Train’s commercial in The Boys was satirizing Pepsi’s infamous ad starring Kendall Jenner
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In case you don’t remember Pepsi’s commercial attempting to capitalize on the “popularity” of protests in early 2017, you can check the full video above.
Set to a song called “Lions” by Skip Marley (Bob’s son), the ad features people protesting in an undisclosed city, while Kendall Jenner, mid-photoshoot, makes eye contact with a man in a beanie and decides to come check things out herself. After taking her blonde wig off, stuffing it in someone’s unsuspecting chest, and storming off, Kendall decides to look around.
But she doesn’t just look around. For some reason, in this Pepsi world, Kendall Jenner decides she’s the one who must be the peace maker. And how better to make peace than offering a police officer wearing riot gear a delicious, thirst-quenching Pepsi? She does so, the cop drinks it, and everyone in attendance cheers. Problems solved! Thank goodness for Pepsi.
That’s what Pepsi thought everyone would think, at least. The ad was widely criticized and Pepsi quickly pulled the ad from the air after being accused of co-opting the protest movements and trivializing Black Lives Matter.
It was not good. And while five years in modern time is a long time, The Boys did not forget. And we’re glad they didn’t.
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