66 responded to this post

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 John C said on December 1st, 2008

It’s edgy, but it wouldn’t fly in some markets. Using suicide humour as a theme may seem callous.

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 Erin said on December 1st, 2008

Wow, I didn’t think that Pepsi would be the company to push boundaries like that.

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 Sarah said on December 1st, 2008

That’s a pretty harsh route for that calorie to be taking. I agree suicide isn’t exactly the best way to go with this one.

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 Hayley said on December 1st, 2008

I agree. The third one is awfully violet. Also, it takes awhile to figure this ad out.

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 Andrew Smith said on December 1st, 2008

I wouldn’t touch it, granted the suicide theme. Can only wonder how the client managed to approve it.

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 Pierre said on December 1st, 2008

i think it’s quite unjust that the illustrator is not credited in this campaign when he/she is the best part of this campaign. The idea is not very original nor insightful – it is the great and humorous illustration style that carries this campaign.

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 scarabin said on December 1st, 2008

this is FUCKED UP. there are 35,000 suicides in america each year.

this is an incredibly callous way to sell a can of soda.

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 Dunkin Sweezey said on December 2nd, 2008

These print ads are fantastic! Finally a company with the guts to push the limits! Me and all my friends were rolling on the ground laughing. Like it or not, look at all the attention it’s getting!

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 Matthew Dovel said on December 2nd, 2008

Unbelievable! I spend my time cleaning suicide scenes for families that do not have the insurance or money to have it be done. With 90 to 100 suicides a day in the USA we are over whelmed with requests as 80% of these suicides are currently being cleaned up by the surviving family members. I would sure like to have Pepsi executives accompany me on a couple of our suicide scene cleaning jobs and then maybe they wouldn’t think such a topic was worthy for marketing a soft drink. I’m the president and founder of ISP (International Suicide Prevention) a 501(c)(3) public charity. Please, stop this madness!

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 garbo said on December 3rd, 2008

Most distracting and aggressive low calorie drink ad i’ve seen. It’s almost like the “very very very” is trying to justify the actions (for example, if it said ‘one lonely calorie’ it would not be able to fly…). Personally, I’m pretty put off by it.

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 Creator said on December 3rd, 2008

The emo calorie.

Like the commenter above said, this is a callous way to sell diet soda. Like there aren’t any anorexics in the world who die out of starvation.

Not to speak that aspartam and other chemicals that they put in died sodas to sweeten them are way more harmful than plain sugar.

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 Greesi said on December 3rd, 2008

i don’t unterstant the discussion about suicides. this is a cartoon and we see much harder stuff in tv. i think this is a great ad with good concept and cool artdirektion.

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 OD said on December 3rd, 2008

Unbelievable how low this stoops. However, as a marketing professor this ad campaign is going to form a series of questions for my students’ final exam in Consumer Behavior. We’ll see what marketing undergrads think of suicide as a marketing appeal.

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 Norrin said on December 3rd, 2008

I agree to Greesi:
It is not a human, it´s a calorie! If this puts you off, how do you feel about Tom&Jerry, Itchy&Scratchy, etc.?

It is just a boundary-pushing illustration and very well done! A perfect attention-getter, and that´s what advertising is about…

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 Stunned said on December 3rd, 2008

Anyone who thinks this is “cute” or “funny” or “good advertising” needs to wipe their conscience. This is no different than being OK with your children watching Mickey Mouse commit suicide because Minnie won’t go out with him. This is sick, perposterous and Pepsi shoud be ashamed. All youi’ve done is create Coke drinkers for life and completely lost the respect of your market segment. good riddance.

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 jota said on December 3rd, 2008

To the people talking about preventing suicides: Do you REALLY think this ad will have any effect whatsoever on suicide rates?

If there is something thinking, “Hey, the Pepsi calorie is committing suicide. I should too!,” I think we’d be better off without that individual in the gene pool.

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 daiana said on December 3rd, 2008

please, sodas are happy drinks…why pepsi did it?!

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 Steven M. said on December 4th, 2008

I agree with the commenter above. There are more violent and agressive series/ movies etc. in tv. So what’s the problem with this idea?! I’m sorry Mr. Dovel, you’ve got a very very very hard job…
What would say the police about all the people dying in Hollywood-Action-Movies?C’mon get a grip on your weapons law. Every year thousands of people are dying in gunfights and nobody is crying, because of bloody and violent action movies.

In the past United Colours of Benetton proofed, negativ advertising is a lucrative alternative to etablish and promote a brand.

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 Michelle McCormack said on December 4th, 2008

Between this Pepsi ad and Diesel Rotting Meat Puppet ad it’s hard to believe Motrin took so much heat recently for that Mommy thing

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 José Neto said on December 4th, 2008

A Direção de arte e a idéia ficaram excelentes. E quem nunca viu suicídio em desenho animado? Quando era criança eu assistia isso o tempo todo. Meu Deus, as pessoas andam tão sensíveis…
Congratulações à BBDO.

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 Gabe said on December 4th, 2008

I agree with Greesi

what is the worst this add could do?
There are gonna be more suicides?

If there was a cartoon about the economic crisis should we say “oh, this cartoon is being insensitive to the economic crisis! I wish the cartoonist would be living out the crisis himself!!” (?)

Suicide is a sensible issue, the economic crisis is also a sensible issue and there are countless sensible issues.
Sensible issues indeed deserve sensible treatment….
BUT NOT BY A CARTOON

I agree with Greesi

what is the worst this add could do?
There are gonna be more suicides?

If there was a cartoon about the economic crisis should we say “oh, this cartoon is being insensitive to the economic crisis! I wish the cartoonist would be living out the crisis himself!!” (?)

Suicide is a sensible issue, the economic crisis is also a sensible issue and there are countless sensible issues.
Sensible issues indeed deserve sensible treatment….
BUT NOT BY A CARTOON

how can you ask a cartoon to be sensible?

besides… the cartoon is aimed at people like you guys who can think and filter the concept and the joke and not just say “ohh my gosh! Suicide is great! Im going to commit suicide!”

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 Dave said on December 4th, 2008

Bad idea.

Great artwork.

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 Rodrigo said on December 4th, 2008

what’s wrong?????? use tragedys in comedy is perfectly normal – well….use to be….

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 Laura B said on December 4th, 2008

You know, I totally get it as a creative. I love the illustration style. And while it is pretty over the top, that’s what we do sometimes to make a point. Is it graphic? Yes. Might it ruffle some feathers? Yes. But it’s just an ad and it communicates the message of 1 calorie pretty darn quickly. Society tends to want to act superior and point out the “wrongs” these days. It is what it is. Don’t buy Pepsi if you don’t like it.

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 Beth I. said on December 4th, 2008

Please tell me that this is a morbid hoax.

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 Ged Stankus said on December 4th, 2008

It is my understanding that the purpose of advertising is to sell something – a thought, a cause, a charity, an event, a product – in other words, to get people to part with their money or their time, which some say is money anyway. These ads have prompted me, as well as a good number of others, to spend time to comment on them. So in that respect, they’re successful.

But let’s step back a moment and look at the current global environment in which these ads are appearing.

World economy in turmoil. Global job loses and threat of a depression, with no foreseeable turnaround for the next 18 months or more. The holiday season and the inevitable spike in depression that accompanies it, fast approaching.

Maybe it’s not the best time to be selling a can of pop by promoting suicide as an alternative to loneliness and isolation.

Just a thought.

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 David said on December 4th, 2008

Mhhh…

The concept of the advertisement is poorly executed, they tried to be funny but it failed. Or perhaps they want to shock to get publicity.

Anyway: Stop whining, Pepsi is free to do and say anything is their advertisements, if you don’t like it, don’t drink it.

@ Matthew Dovel: I sincerely respect what you do for these families, but that isn’t an agrument against this ad.

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 patty liston said on December 4th, 2008

You’ve got to be kidding me! And Pepsi spent how much to come up with these ads? Trust me, my grandchildren could have done better—-and only for a iPod.

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 EMS said on December 4th, 2008

I have to say that this new advertising for Pepsi was saddening to me. I work in crisis services and am a social work graduate student and to have this campaign be the best selling point they can think of disheartens me to what the public is asking for. While i can see the entertainment value, overall, I’d rather see the calorie playing with a blow-up calorie then resorting to violence.

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 wow said on December 5th, 2008

Living in a country with one of the highest suicide rates in EU, i can’t say that this would be a good idea to launch such campaign. Even the news about such campaign launched in such country already sparked some debates whether Pepsi is the company that should be in the market…

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 Pieter Ophals said on December 5th, 2008

Well, the main reason why this ad doesn’t fly is because it’s not a niche product. It’s a general consumer product and thus it needs to be marketed that way too. That’s what I think about it though… why would you want to confront people with suicide in an advertisement anyway. If it’s not funny then it will not reach its objective. And the goal of this ad is to communicate that there is but one calorie in the product. What’s the relevance with suicide, thats what most people will say anyway. Creatives are awesome people, but they don’t have the same ‘cultural’ patterns in mind than the target group.

Anyhow, I find this ad not appaling at all. But then again I’m pretty young and have not been confronted with suicide that often.

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 Laura B said on December 5th, 2008

pepsi isn’t promoting suicide. people are missing the point. it is a cartoon character. it’s not like you can kill it anyway. hmmm. have we lost our ability to tell real from fantasy? it’s just an ad. poor pepsi. this was unfortunate for them.

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 Jon Jennings said on December 5th, 2008

I think you’re all missing Pepsi’s expectations of this. Nobody in their right mind would expect this campaign to run successfully.

The idea is to shock and horrify people in order to attract attention, get people talking and then have the ads banned and withdrawn. This is supposed to be this week’s Motrin.

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 jochen said on December 5th, 2008

why didn’t anyone say that the ILLUSTRATIONS ARE AWEWSOME, yet!?!? caus they really are =)

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 Carolyn Magnuson said on December 5th, 2008

Our son just committed suicde on 9/21/08. He hung himself. This is just terrible. What is going on with Pepsi? Obviously, the person (s) who created this has never gone through the pain of this type of death. NEVER. The Board of Pepsi should fire the group that came up with this. There were 25,000 deaths by suicide in 2008. Most people know someone who has gone through the massive pain. I think the group that came up with this should sit with the family that has been in the worst pain of their life. And, then go back to the drawing board.

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 LJD said on December 5th, 2008

This ad’s “agenda” is pathetic. My brother took his life two months ago. Most of you are right…until you are directly affected by something like suicide, it seems “innocent” and “cute” and “funny”. It comes down to awareness and class. Pepsi has the right to sell their products however they choose, but at what cost? As for me and the hundreds of people I know who are still grieving and terribly shattered by loss of my brother, we will not contribute financially to PepsiCo. Every choice has a consequence, every action, a reaction. As for the comments comparing ads regarding our economic crisis or any current events or hollywood movies..just remember, those things are tangible and still very much alive, my brother however is not..granted by his choice..but the visuals of these advertisements are devastating to the people who have lost someone by suicide.

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 Gerryy's sister said on December 6th, 2008

Losing calories in NO way compares to losing someone to suicide.

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 Gerrys sister said on December 6th, 2008

Pepsi in not promoting suicide yet they are NOT showing a possitive picture of one single calorie either.
Suicide loss is NEVER ‘gotten over’ and until YOU have lost someone to suicide, do not even think of saying ‘its only an ad’
How desperate and callous has this country become that they need to use something so devastating to sell their products? What’s next; abortion? Death is final and people get hurt and some never recover from the losses. Put the humor back NOT the tragedy in.

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 SANDI said on December 6th, 2008

real, fantasy, if you’ve never lost someone to suicide or known someone who has, you might find this a cute cartoon.. but i lost my son to suicide and i find it very offensive… to those of you who find humor in saddness and heart ache i feel sorry for you and pray you never face daily what i do.. i am a pepsi drinker but if this ad were to come out i might change my choice of drink.. sorry but it is NOT funny or even cute… samielee

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 Christa said on December 6th, 2008

This is absolutely horrendous. Glorification of suicide is WRONG!

I lost a close friend to suicide and this is NOTHING to joke about.

Shame on Pepsi! I will never buy their products again.

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 Vanessa and Doug Riley said on December 6th, 2008

There is absolutely nothing cute or commical about suicide. We lost our young son to suicide and I am ashamed to say that he loved Pepsi. There will never be another Pepsi product in our home. Do your research, Pepsi!

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 Pat said on December 8th, 2008

This ad is very offensive to a friend of mine who lost her son to suicide and I demand it not be publicized!!

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 Joe said on December 8th, 2008

Those ads are purely twisted. The People at Pepsi involved with those ads should lose their jobs.

It would have made much more sense for the calorie to be proud that he’s unique. But instead of being proud of his individuality, the calorie is suicidal. Whomever created and greenlighted those ads is fucked-up in the head. I usually don’t use words that strong, but it needs to be said.

Are these ads already running in magazines? I highly doubt they’ll give consumers a hankerin’ for Pepsi. Thank God I’m already a Coca-Cola man. Looks likes Coca-Cola’s going to win some converts over this Pepsi fiasco.

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 nadia said on December 10th, 2008

Wow, I wished this ad was present earlier when I wrote my B.A. thesis on ads… ! This is unbelievable, but I like it, there is much to discuss about its connotations and the image as a whole. No need to be so pessimistic and conservative about its vision. Years ago there were the ads of Yves Saint with Opium or the Colours of Benetton… using most selling concepts of sex and controversy. This time it is suicide, but what kind of a suicide?!?! Do we really come to recognize what there is bellow the surface?

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 jbaum said on December 16th, 2008

Take a look at how many comments most of the ads on this blog get. Compare that to the discussion generated by this ad.

Well done Pepsi.

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 Abu Lyric said on January 21st, 2009

What is it Bill Hick’s says to advertisers and marketeers?
This is one of the motives for his statement, but on the level of art and provocation, this is what good art should do, provoke and manipulate feelings of rage or rapture.
Being a commercial fizzy drink maker is no different from MTV and let’s face it Bill Plympton has made bolder statements about challenging our maker than this.
What’s the big deal? The bigger picture is that viral campaigns get more people talking, especially against the big boys. Pepsi will only strengthen their market share for having the balls to appeal to the reality of our planet.
People, unfortunately, do take their lives. There is no actual mention of it being a sin either. The one good example of suicide in the bible almost says that God deceives mankind by avenging Samson after he takes his life. A forum on that would be far more worthwhile than this here cartoon campaign, which I personally find tasteful and funny. Kudos to Pepsi:)

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 kate said on March 1st, 2009

This is the most disgusting, horrifying advertisement I have ever seen. I will make sure i NEVER drink Pepsi again, and for anyone who does, I’ll show them this. May the advertising team rot in hell.

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 Anne said on March 25th, 2009

Well. Until you’ve come to a place where you respect the choice a person has made to take their life, you’ll find these ads offensive. My brother took his life and we cleaned up his house after the fact. Yes, it was a lot to go through and if I had seen these ads then, I would not have laughed. Ten years later though (today) I think they’re quite brilliant. Beautifully illustrated, raw sense of humor and smart. I love the irony.
These thoughts come from a suicide survivor and graphic designer.

No one deserves to rot in hell for offending another’s sensibilities. Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.

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 Chris E Dahl said on April 27th, 2009

This is in VERYBAD TASTE Pepsi just lost me as a customer

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 Robin said on September 5th, 2009

thats just bad taste.

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