This New Take On Pepsi's Pulled Ad Honors Real-Life Protesters At Standing Rock

"Water Is Life."

Last week, Pepsi pulled a controversial activism-themed advertisement which critics called tone-deaf, accusing the company of trivializing very real and frequently dangerous protests, including the Black Lives Matter movement, to sell soda.

Shortly after Pepsi pulled the ad, production company ThirtyRev shared on YouTube that they had "fixed it" for them. Their new video depicts the brave efforts of real-life protesters at Standing Rock who fought to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline by standing their ground against law enforcement.

The nearly three-minute clip serves as a powerful reminder of the obstacles these protesters, and others like them, face as they put their own safety at risk for the greater good. Like the original ad, it's set to Skip Marley's song "Lions," but nowhere is it suggested that sharing a Pepsi could solve the problem. In fact, the brand is not even mentioned until the end, when the Pepsi logo is displayed along with the message "Water Is Life."


According to the company's website, ThirtyRev believes "in creating films that contribute towards making the world a safe, just and sustainable place."

Joseph von Meding, a filmmaker at the company, told Business Insider of Pepsi's original ad, "It came across as a bunch of advertising execs using a 20- or 30-year-old advertising playbook with a sprinkling of those recent 'cool protests' thrown into the mix."

Twitter users praised the new clip, with some saying it moved them to tears and sharing their admiration for the protesters depicted.

"So powerful. The images are searing and absolutely riveting. Beautiful editing and cinematography. Everyone needs to see this," wrote one commenter on YouTube.


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