Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Fuck it, let's get nostalgic for Crystal Pepsi

Illustration for article titled Fuck it, let's get nostalgic for Crystal Pepsi
Screenshot: YouTube

It’s Friday in America, and men in military fatigues are hauling off peaceful protestors in unmarked vans without providing clear, constitutional justifications. The detained individuals claim these anonymous authorities ostensibly kidnapped and brought them to nearby precincts, where they were asked to waive their Miranda rights and answer questions concerning the protests, all before eventually dumping back onto the streets with no discernible reason other than to instill terror into dissenting U.S. citizens.


Perhaps you’re desperate to leave this timeline for a spell, for a scrap of distraction to transport you, if only for a few minutes, somewhere safer. Perhaps you’re desperate enough to get nostalgic for Crystal Pepsi.

Here we have a leaked employee training video from 1992 concerning the introduction and marketing of the notorious corporate flop that is Crystal Pepsi. 1992, coincidentally, is also the year Los Angeles police were exonerated for the brutal on-camera assault of an unarmed Black man, which resulted in rioting and civil unrest that, in the end, weren’t convincing enough to produce real systemic change. But yeah, it’s also the year this Crystal Pepsi video was released. Like, just look at those dumbass soda chumps, right?

The training video was actually uploaded onto YouTube back in 2018, but much like the aforementioned rioting and civil unrest, recently resurfaced again. In the clip, Pepsi says its customers were desperate for “change,” which is pretty amusing in hindsight, isn’t it?

“It’s Crystal Pepsi, and the time is now,” declares the video’s narrator before launching into all the now-obviously bullshit reasons society needs something like Crystal Pepsi. The scratchy VHS rip later includes sections like “Applied Training & Communication,” and “Tackling Objections,” because irony is dead.

Watch the Crystal Pepsi video again above, or, if you’re good on the nostalgia front, check out this list of resources by our sister site Lifehacker for ways to advocate for Black lives.

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Andrew Paul is a contributing writer with work recently featured by NBC Think, GQ, Slate, Rolling Stone, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He writes the newsletter, (((Echo Chamber))).