(Purchase, New York) – In the midst of the backlash against their most recent ad which depicts Kendall Jenner leading a protest, ending police brutality, and solving the social problems integrated into the United States’ culture of exceptionalism armed only with a can of Pepsi, the soda company faces another big shake-up as another one of their scheduled ads was leaked. This one, scheduled to be aired in the week leading up to Easter, depicts a similar scene to the Jenner ad.
In the ad, Jesus of Nazareth is at the last supper when Judas rushes out the door to betray him. Jesus rises to follow him, but grabs a Pepsi from the table. Jesus walks to the garden where he is confronted by Judas and several guards who have come to arrest him, pointing at Jesus and saying “He is the one who says he is King!” in a language which purports to be Aramaic, but sounds an awful lot like Spanish with a Jersey accent. Jesus then offers the guards a can of Pepsi, which they accept, sip from, and then exchange smiles before cutting back to the table at the last supper, now with Jesus’ would-be arresters present and laughing with the apostles before the words “Pepsi – It’s good to be King” pop on screen alongside the logo.
“We knew the Kendall ad would be a hit,” Pepsi Executive VP and Communications head, Jon Banner reported, “and we thought, you know who else is always a hit? Jesus!” Yet, while Christians unsurprisingly polled high in approval of Jenner’s feel-good, tone-deaf commercial, the Christian reaction to the leaked Easter commercial has been largely negative, even spawning hashtags like #NotMyJesus which resemble the #NotMyPresident trend which many vocal Evangelicals decried after they turned out in droves to elect President Trump.
“That’s an easy explanation,” Banner continued. “They literally don’t recognize that actor as Jesus. The ad was still in post-production, and a lot of the technical details hadn’t been worked out. Contrast levels are off, sound hasn’t been mixed and balanced, and the Jesus actor’s complexion hasn’t been color-corrected.” Banner is, of course, referring to the Iranian actor, Abed Najjar, who plays Jesus in the ad. “Folks don’t see the soft, European features of their confessed Savior, so they’re all up in arms about it. But we’ve got our public relations guys on it right now. We know what color Jesus is.”
When pressed further, it was clear that this claim was false.
Nonetheless, it is apparent that Pepsi’s attempts to translate misreading and exploitation of socio-political climate into marketing success have fallen short of their expectations. Nonetheless, they stay positive. “In three years, when everything is fixed, and those no-good, shoe-licking punk goats at Coke are all six feet under, people are going to look back and remember: it was Pepsi who won social justice.”
At press time, Pepsi had released images of what Jesus was supposed to look like in the commercial, and Christian apology hashtags have since surfaced and gained momentum, including #ThatsMoreLikeIt and #GoodToBeKing, along with their correlating trending phrases of “not racist” and “just sayin’.”
The ad is now being lauded by most Evangelical leaders, all of whom are working presently on upcoming sermons incorporating the ad. The portrait of white Jesus which Pepsi released has even been added to the staff pages of many churches’ websites, listing his leadership position as “The King.”
Neither the First Church of Slime, nor the Commune of the Depths have issued any comments, though the effects of this episode will almost certainly impact the vibe of this year’s Interdimensional Interfaith Easter Picnic.
This article was written by Kevin Harrington-Bain, who is taking the year off from defending his title of three-time Easter Dark Matter Hunt Champion at the Interdimensional Interfaith Easter Picnic. Follow him for more on Twitter @kkevinb