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Pepsi - Announcement

Company: PepsiCo
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Brand: Pepsi
Ad Title: Announcement
Business Category: Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Media Outlets: Television
Country: Canada
Region: North America
Agency: BBDO Worldwide
Year: 2001
Target: Mainstream
Ad Spotter: Guy Bertrand
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A stereotypical sissy wearing a shocking pink jacket and a blond wig is talking (with a strong lisp) in a press conference.

(In original French: "Un deux, ouille! Alors, si je suis réuni aujourd'hui, C'est que j'ai un gros gros aveu à vous faire. Ça fait des années que je garde ça en-dedans. Mais là, j'en peux plus, faut que ça sorte. Alors je vous l'avoue publiquement : Je suis' aux deux! Oui, oui, aux deux : Pepsi et Diet Pepsi! Je sais qu'il y en a des millions qui sont comme moi et qui ne se l'avouent pas. À ceux-là je dis: 'Santé, les pits!' Vive la différence! Tiens toi, tiens toi. Ça fait du bien de se vider la canette! Bravo! Merci!)

As he tests the microphone, he says, "One, two, ouch!"

"I am here today to tell you a secret. I have been keeping it inside for years. But I can't stand it anymore, I must tell someone. So here goes, I am telling you publicly: I am bi! Yes, yes, bi. I love both Pepsi and Diet Pepsi. I know there are millions who are like me but refuse to admit it. To them I say: 'Cheers, sweeties!' Vive la différence!"

As he kisses both bottles, "Here you, here you. It feels good to spill one's guts! Bravo! Thank you!"

This commercial aired frequently on French-Canadian television and features an actor who has appeared for years in Pepsi's French-language ads for Canada. The company declined to provide a copy of the commercial. In 2002, Pepsi became the first soft drink anywhere to advertise directly to the gay market, by sponsoring a program on Canada's PrideVision, the first 24-hour gay network in the world, though Coca-Cola has sponsored Montreal's gay pride events, known as Divers/Cite.

Also in 2002, Pepsi Australia ran a commercial that features a wrestler who tries to kiss a female fairy. Their lips almost touch but, as he comes out of his dream, she disappears and turns into his real male opponent, who he then violently head-butts. Complaints from Victoria's gay community resulted in an investigation by the country's Advertising Standards Bureau.

Darren Borg, marketing director of Pepsi Australia, defends the ad as less gender-specific and not about that at all "it's a competition between two wrestlers." Borg notes that independent local bottlers in Australia have been supportive of the gay community as sponsors of gay events -- but not corporate Pepsi, and the commercial in question continued to run.

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Guy Bertrand , Montreal, QC, Canada
Although you have a very flamboyant gay character, he is talking in front of a cheering crowd. Apparently, his obvious homosexuality is not even an issue. As a matter of fact, the crowd seems to love him for what he is. He encourage all the "closet Pepsi/Diet Pepsi drinkers" to be proud of their "difference". Come to think of it, this ad is a metaphor for pride and affirmation as it were. Or maybe I am seeing things that are not there!

Cliff , Ithaca, NY
I love the fact that there is an actual portrayal of someone coming out as bi! I never see that in the media. And to an approving crowd as well! I just wish he wasn't so terribly stereotypically flambouyant, which is at least as unfair to bis (perhaps more) as it is to gays.

Sebastian , Montreal, QC, Canada
As far as I remember, and being a HUGE ad fan, I NEVER saw this ad on French TV. Plus, in other Pepsi ads, the comedian, Claude Meunier, plays a huge fag (as a fashion designer and a hairdresser, I think), which is not really a plus for the community.

Karlee , Detroit, MI
Fun ad, and now we know how to say "Bi" en francais...Merci, Guy!

Gerhard Doerries , Berlin, Germany
This Spot - while intentionally "funny" -is really the opposite. It is discriminating. The gay community is stereotyped, they make handicapped people (lisp) laughable, and stereotyping "blondes". They should have taken a real gay, queeny actor - maybe that would have made the spot seem less designedly done. What can we wait for from companies like Pepsi or Coca Cola? Supporting combat troops and common taste...

M , Montreal, QC, Canada
People who find this offensive obviously don't know Québécois culture. 1. Homosexuality is quite accepted so people aren't so sensitive about this kind of thing, and 2. If you've ever seen this guy's show, the characters are all walking, talking stereotypes (and yes, there is a gay one) so this is very much in line with what people expect of him. Oh, and by the way, the show ([i]La Petite Vie[/i]) is one of the all-time most successful shows in Québec. The comedy is very typical Québécois.

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