Social Action

Usually, I’m not one to participate in online discussions, unless it is something incredibly important that I feel an urge to contribute. I’m generally afraid to put my opinion out there for others to see as I’m not really one to argue or debate with my acquaintances or people I do not really know at all. This assignment really pushed me out of my comfort zone. For my Writing as a Social Action response, I decided to contribute to a conversation on the newly sparked issue regarding Pepsi’s tone-deaf commercial. Recently there has been an enormous amount if backlash regarding the commercial and how it completely disregarded the immensity of what it was trying to light-heartedly portray.

In the commercial, Kendall Jenner hands a police officer a Pepsi in order to break the tension between the protesters and the officers. After receiving the Pepsi the officer shrugs and the protesters cheer as if the Pepsi has ended all of the social injustices once and for all. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter took to twitter to respond to the commercial, and her response was incredibly powerful. It was then shared on a multitude of different platforms, including the one I used Tumblr.

I came across the screenshot of her tweet and began to read the comments in the “notes” of the picture. I stumbled upon comments condoning the commercial, some of which were stating that people who support or are a part of the movement, Black Lives Matter, should be happy and not going crazy over a “silly commercial” and that we should all be thrilled that they are publicizing the movement. Obviously, that is completely problematic in the sense that Pepsi was not trying to raise awareness for BLM, rather exploit the movement for monetary gain.

I decided to respond with my own personal thoughts on the subject (pictured below). So many people were commenting their distaste for the commercial, I wanted to also participate in the anger over the commercial. I wanted to address those who were excusing the issues it so clearly contained. The cool things about Tumblr is, it’s a great place to have a conversation and share your beliefs. I reblogged the photo with what I had said to my followers and five people had reblogged the screenshot along with what I wrote at the bottom of the picture in the caption to their blogs. I know five people isn’t a lot but I really appreciated that people who I don’t even know liked what I said and shared it. I do wish that more people would have responded or commented their own opinions and thoughts on the subject to spark more of a conversation amongst us.



Author: Ashley M

I major in both Neuroscience and Cognitive Science at the University of Delaware. My goal for this blog is to provide thought-provoking responses to our use of technology, how it has changed, and how we use it today in order to have a better understanding of the ever-changing digital world.

4 thoughts on “Social Action”

  1. I’m like you in the sense that I typically do not get involved in heated online discussions. I was also pushed out of my comfort zone for this assignment but I think that you picked a very important topic to use. Marketing is so pervasive and universal today, it is almost as if corporations think that any idea is a good idea. However, I totally agree with you that this commercial was particularly tone-deaf and callous in attempting to use a crucial social issue to sell a soft drink. I like how you decided to respond directly and comment on another post. I also think that five re-blogs, while not Earth-shattering is an important number that can reach tons of other people.


  2. I agree with you when you say that Tumblr is a great place to have a conversation and share your beliefs and I am glad you stepped outside of your comfort zone because I am a strong believer that a lot of personal growth happens outside of our comfort zones. I have used Tumblr for many years but I have always been somewhat of a silent user. Yet, I do agree that it is a platform that inspires me and influences a lot of my beliefs and I am glad you chose the Pepsi commercial to take a social action on. I am an advertising minor so I have taken marketing classes before and it is safe to say that Pepsi’s attempts were one-sided and inappropriate. Your 5 reblogs demonstrate that others commend you for thoughts and so do I!


  3. I think you did pretty well, Ashley! You wrote a smart post, and clearly some people paid attention. Well done! (I’m also intrigued by your decision to use Tumblr. Tell me more about this.) ~Joe


  4. I have not used Tumblr in such a long time, so it is very interesting to me that you decided to do your social action on this site. When I used to use tumblr, I rarely commented on things and usually just reblogged posts. I was a very passive user. The action you took to actually broadcast your opinion on this issue was very brave and inspiring. Speaking up for what you believe in or an issue is very hard to do on social media. The issue you chose to speak up about was perfect because of how prevalent it currently is in our society. I would be proud of the 5 people that recognized your work. When I was on tumblr, I would jump for joy when just one person reblogged something of mine.


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