UPDATED with video: Trevor Noah understands that the Kendall Jenner ad for Pepsi may have been “a little tone deaf” but says he does not understand why the soda company got hammered so hard.
“In fact, I think all brands need to become more woke,” The Daily Show host said.
“Let’s see Coca Cola address global warming!” Noah said of that drink’s polar-bear campaign. “Let’s have a wedding for Mr. and Mr. Clean,” he argued.
As much as this sucked for Pepsi, it could have been worse, Noah said. They could have had Sean Spicer as their spokesperson: “No, you guys are the racists! The real story is, who told you about this ad?! That’s what we should be investigating!”
He noted the Pepsi ad got torched on social media for appropriating the image from the iconic photograph of 28-year-old nurse assistant Ieshia Evans standing in front of police during a Black Lives Matter protest in Baton Rouge. Taking a contrary position, Noah suggested we celebrate even more iconic moments in American history by adding slick product tag lines.
Adding a tube of Crest toothpaste to the image of African-American Olympics medalists raising their fists during the 1968 Games would have given us, “Black Power with a white smile,” Noah snarked.
Noah segued back to Spicer, in a segment dramatizing the degree to which the White House Press Secretary talks to press at his briefings like a harried kindergarten teacher (“Don’t shake your head!”). He followed that with a look at President Donald Trump’s various disconcerting reax to the chemical gas attacks on Syrians by their dictator.
“You want someone to do something, but do you want that person to be Donald Trump?” Noah asked anxiously. “It’s like you’re in a balloon-catching contest and now you’ve got Edward Scissorhands on your team.”