Millennials speak up after Pepsi commercial

Kendall Jenner starred in the conversational Pepsi commercial. Photo: Twitter.

Kendall Jenner starred in the conversational Pepsi commercial.
Photo: Twitter.

By Kiara Mays| Published May 6, 2017

Today, Millennials (born 1980-2000) make up the largest, most diverse living generation in the United States, that’s roughly 80 million people.

With that many people comes the challenge of understanding how and why this group of individuals think the way they think and care about the things they care about. A few of Kean University’s millennials tell us what social issues they are especially attentive to.

“Equality. Everyone was created equally, I feel everyone should have a fair and equal chance, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, etc.,” said Krista Vaeth, senior communication studies major.“I have friends and family that are gay; so equal rights for everyone is important to me.”

Kendall Jenner recently made news headlines for starring in a controversial Pepsi commercial. In the commercial, Jenner was shown at a political protest where she walked through a crowd of protesters, can of Pepsi in hand, until she came face-to-face with a police officer. She handed the officer the Pepsi, which he accepted and cracked a smile thereafter, thus “curing” the world of all its social issues.

The commercial was then pulled immediately after receiving backlash for appropriating the Black Lives Matter movement and using social justice to sell soda according to CNN. While some individuals did not see an issue with the commercial, many felt otherwise and believed the ad made a mockery of real issues that people dedicate their time and efforts to.

“As an African American, I care much about social injustice issues concerning the black community,” said Al-Tahnay Wells, sophomore communication major. “Aside from that, it’s ignorant and insensitive to assume the resolution to any protest is a damn Pepsi.”

The Millennial Impact Project (MIP), an ongoing, comprehensive study of the millennial generation found that on average, 52.5% of Millennials identify themselves as activists. While one study conducted by the MIP found that Millennials care most about issues concerning the environment, education, and health, a second study found that Millennials named economic, gender issues, or wage as issues they care most about.

“I definitely consider myself to be an activist for sure,” said Keily Padilla,sophomore public relations (PR) major. “At the moment, I try to use my voice as much as possible regarding issues concerning our environment because we are literally destroying our planet.”

Evidently, as provided by these responses, millennials do not limit themselves to one specific cause; but instead, dedicate their time to a variety of causes and social issues.

To learn more about the MIP, visit their website at:

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