Well, this is exciting. After all of the anticipation over Beyonce being hired as the Pepsi spokeswoman and then Taylor Swift getting hired as the Diet Coke spokeswoman, it was excruciating to have to sit there and wait for their first commercials to come out. WHERE ARE THOSE COMMERCIALS?! HOW DO WE KNOW WHICH SODA TO DRINK?! But now they are here. Obviously, both of these women are goddesses and Pepsi and Diet Coke are two of the best drinks in the biz, love them both, wish the faucets ran with both of them and if you turned the hot water on it was Pepsi and if you turned the cold water on it was Diet Coke, that is my one wish. But now that we have both ads, we have to compare them side by side and determine which soda makes you a better artist. You see, both Beyonce and Taylor Swift are artists, and they both rely on the delicious creative power of Pepsi and Diet Coke (respectively) as the well-spring for their art. BUT WHICH ONE WORKS FASTER? I’m not asking which artist you like better, THIS IS ACTUAL SCIENCE. (Wait, what is science again?) So, let’s do the numbers:
Well, we all knew that when you’re in the middle of a tough work out, nothing refreshes you and gives your body the electrolytes it needs like a fucking Pepsi. Did you know that Pepsi is the only thing olympic athletes drink? But we’re here to talk about art! Drinking Pepsi definitely makes you wear a bunch of different outfits and have some form of dissociative personality disorder. Is that art? Maybe! That guy Henry Darger was pretty crazy, and his art is in museums now. “Embrace your past, but live for now” is a pretty good description of how art works, so that’s definitely one in the art column. Then again, what it really feels like from this ad is that Pepsi makes you a great performance artist (no audience, smashing mirrors) and no one likes performance art. Let’s see what Diet Coke has to say about all of this:
A messy apartment and sitting on the floor is VERY art, for sure. The starving artist! Diet Coke comes out strong in support of the arts. And journaling is, like, pure art. Diet Coke makes you journal everywhere: in the diner, other places. That journal looks very artistic, too. She probably writes her dreams in there! Dreams are the lifeblood of our art. But then the ad takes all of the work it did to represent a classic depiction of art as struggle and turns it on its head. We see Taylor backstage, we see her heading out to a packed crowd. This is art as commerce. OK, so where do we draw the line between art and capitalism? Or was that line destroyed by Andy Warhol? When the people are singing Taylor’s songs in their cars or in the break room at work, one could make the argument that this is the negative effect of the commercialization of art, and yet what is art but a means of self-expression in the hopes of connecting with other people. If the crowd responds to Taylor’s work, does that not make it the most effective art of all? Or is art self-expression for the sake of self-expression. Screaming at the top of your lungs in an empty room? But let us not fool ourselves. Beyonce is simply practicing for the same audience that Taylor is walking out to greet. And then we have this tag line: Stay Extraordinary. The implication here is that each of us is extraordinary, but does this not go contrary to art’s purpose? For aren’t we all extremely ORDINARY? Isn’t the power of Taylor’s music found in the mundane relatability of its hackneyed lyrics? And what of the use of the word “stay”? What about art encourages people to embrace stasis and inertia? Art is about movement. It is about progress. Is art about patting yourself on the back, as Diet Coke is implying, or is it about capturing the moment as Pepsi says?
Tough call. Both sodas obviously are very artistic, and isn’t that the whole point? True art is in each of us making personal decisions. So, I guess I’ll say Pepsi just because I think Diet Coke tastes fucking disgusting.