Many companies and corporations take an opportunity to push hidden messages and secret agendas through their advertisements ”“ all in an effort to line their pockets with more money. However, these efforts have the potential to backfire, and once in a blue moon ”“ the public speaks up ”“ forcing companies to tone down the messages they spread. They’re reminded that the masses aren’t always mindless drones willing to accept just anything that wealthy entities push onto the public, which is why PepsiCo has had to do a little damage control in the past couple of days”¦
When the public continuously demanded that PepsiCo part ways with rapper Lil’ Wayne for the kind of messages he stands for, the company actually listened. It’s a check in the ‘win’ column for the ‘little people’ and a humbling moment for an influential, wealthy corporation that often uses celebrities as ‘puppets’ for their products and services.
Lil’ Wayne is an extremely wealthy and influential rapper, who has millions of fans hailing from across the world. PepsiCo and Mountain Dew took one look at Wayne’s extreme following and saw dollar signs ”“ they wanted the rapper’s notoriety to work in their favor to sell more products.
However, all of the money and power that Lil’ Wayne enjoys in his position within the music industry has gotten to his head, and he now feels that it’s OK to push the envelope even further with some of his lyrics, which promote violence against women and disrespects civil rights leaders. For years, he’s gotten away with spreading negative messages within his music, as well as incorporating mind control and Illuminati references into some of his music videos.
There has always been a trend in big business to use spokespeople to peddle their products and services, and companies offer the big bucks to popular celebrities willing to lure their fans to ‘follow their lead.’ In many cases, the celebrity endorser becomes an extension of the company, and is often told what to say or do in these advertisements. In most cases, the greater public laps up these promotions, and sales usually increase. Yet, when Lil’ Wayne decided to include a lyric in one of his songs that compared a civil rights icon named Emmett Till’s face to female sex organs ”“ he had gone too far.
Wealthy corporations have been greatly accustomed to getting away with a lot in regards to the kinds of advertisements they put out, and the majority of the public has been letting it slide for quite some time. However, the escalating public outcry, increased media attention, and threats to boycott have persuaded PepsiCo to take action. The company finally responded by saying: “offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand.” If no one said a word, and just accepted the negative messages, then the corporation would have done nothing.
PepsiCo’s willingness to cut ties with such a lucrative star is significant, especially when it comes to the music industry. Corporate-funded hip hop music has been in the hot seat for quite some time, as they play a huge role in controlling whether or not a musician will get heard on radio station across the country, or perform to sold-out crowds. The record companies with the most wealth, power and influence can quickly turn a ‘nobody’ into an overnight sensation, and as we’ve heard from many celebrities in the past ”“ it all comes with a price”¦to the artists and to the communities they target.