As Pepsi brings back Crystal Pepsi, backed by a campaign that taps into '90s culture, not everyone is nostalgic about it. To protest against PepsicCo's use of unethically sourced palm oil, global advocacy group SumofUs (which earlier this year released a Doritos parody ad with the same theme) has created a video that spoofs the brand's iconic 1992 Super Bowl spot starring Cindy Crawford.
Just like the original ad, the video -- which is already being shared widely on social media -- shows a beautiful brunette in hotpants pulling over for a cold drink from a vending machine, watched by two cute little boys. But there's an unpleasant twist, and the ad ends with the words: "Crystal Pepsi. New look. Same old palm oil problem."
"While PepsiCo makes juicy profits off this product relaunch, Indonesia's rainforest, workers, and endangered animals pay a heavy price," Katherine Tu, a campaigner for SumOfUs, said in a statement. "PepsiCo's palm oil policy contains a huge loophole -- it doesn't cover its producer in Indonesia, IndoFood."
"A nostalgia for rollerblades and fanny packs is fine, but it's crystal clear PepsiCo needs to open its eyes and realize we are no longer in the 1990's and deforestation, wildlife extinction and labor abuses are no longer acceptable costs of doing business," added Gemma Tillack, senior agribusiness campaigner with Rainforest Action Network.
The parody ad had been viewed more than 423,000 times on YouTube as of Wednesday morning. PepsiCo declined comment.
When SumofUs ran the Dorito's ad, PepsiCo responded by accusing SumOfUs of lying about the food and beverage marketer's palm oil policies.
Earlier this summer, Pepsi put a more positive spin on the classic 1992 spot with an updated version that used emojis.