Bhookh Hartal Be Damned: Pepsi’s Tasteless Dig at FTII Students

Has cool brand Pepsi heated up tempers of FTII students and the youth at large with its newest TVC?

Updated
India
2 min read
(Photo: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqYzIAE2LG8">Youtube/PepsiIndia</a>)

Protesting students and bhook hartals are not frivolous, then why did Pepsi decide to make an ad that makes it appear that way?

The brand’s latest television ad, ‘Pepsi thi, pi gaya’ shows college students protesting, one of whom gives in to the temptation of a chilled bottle of Pepsi and breaks his hunger strike.

The kurta chaap, activist-type actors in the ad bear an uncanny resemblance to the students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) that have been protesting against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as their director.

Stills from the commercial. (Photo: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/PepsiIndia?fref=ts">Facebook/PepsiCo India</a>)
Stills from the commercial. (Photo: Facebook/PepsiCo India)

What makes the resemblance even more uncanny is that just like the FTII students, who went on an indefinite hunger strike, the students in the ad are also on a four-day hunger strike to protest against college authorities.

But in a cheeky twist, the ad shows a weak-willed student being lured by a bottle of Pepsi and taking massive sips just as the leader of the morcha is telling reporters that the fasting students will not relent. He tries to justify his action by merely saying, ‘Pepsi thi yaar, pi gaya’ (It was a Pepsi, I drank it).

 Stills from the commercial. (Photo: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/PepsiIndia?fref=ts">Facebook/PepsiCo India</a>)
Stills from the commercial. (Photo: Facebook/PepsiCo India)

Pepsi is known for its connect with the youth.

But this new ad leaves us wondering whether the brand, in its quest to make its drink irresistible to the youth, has actually made it detestable? Sample the social media reactions to the ad:

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