Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
Christmas adverts usually leave our stomachs rumbling, with tantalising slow-mo shots of pigs in blankets, Yorkshire puddings and festive tipples being sloshed into glasses.
But we have to admit the latest offering from Pepsi – starring the one and only Lindsay Lohan – instead just left us…confused (sorry Lindsay).
You can watch it below:
In the new advert, the Falling For Christmas actress can be seen pouring a can of Pepsi into a glass and then adding a dash milk.
Lindsay, who appears dressed in her Mean Girls Christmas attire, creates the drink with a cheeky grin, and says: “Oooh, naughty,” to the camera.
She can then be seen to take a sip of the concoction (which she dubs ‘Pilk’) through a straw, telling viewers: “Mmm, that is one dirty soda”.
Now at this point, we’ll admit we were a little confused, and we weren’t the only ones…
“Whoever thought of this belongs in jail,” said one person after watching the advert.
Whilst another concurred: “This is a crime.”
“This is the first time I’m seeing Lindsay Lohan in god knows how long and it’s her advertising fucking pilk. With cookies no less,” said somebody else. “I feel offended.”
As a fourth penned: “I woke up to Lindsay Lohan drinking pilk what is happening–.”
Determined to get to the bottom of why Pepsi were promoting such a seemingly odd beverage, we did some digging.
And it turns out that whilst many in the UK may not know it, Lindsay’s ‘Pilk’ is actually inspired by dirty soda, which is a popular drink in some parts of America.
Intrigued? We’ve got all the deets below…
What is dirty soda?
The drinks are common across Utah, and whilst it might seem bizarre to some (us included), putting milk and creamer in fizzy drinks is actually pretty normal over there.
“If you’re from Utah, you would not be surprised by the things I put in my Diet Coke at all,” TikTok user Hunter Kailey said in a video back when the dirty soda trend started to take off.
Noting that there are even soda shops where you can buy drinks similar to ‘Pilk’, she went on: “I would say like 70 per cent of Utah has a soda addiction including myself, because we have all these really fun drink places around us where they put a bunch of add-ins in the drinks.”
Not dissimilar to adding ice cream to root beer, the concept is said to have been born at fast-food restaurant Swig in 2010, and since, chains like Sonic and Sodalicious have jumped on the hype, too.
Swig explain in a TikTok video that they started out by just added a splash of coconut flavour in fizzy drinks, but as the beverage became popular, they started offering creams, too.
Since then, the dirty soda revolution has only continued to spread. In fact, Olivia Rodrigo even shared a selfie holding one in 2021.
That’s right, in some corners of the world, it’s a Gen-Z must have.
But where the hell did ‘Pilk’ come from?
‘Pilk’ itself also existed before Lindsay got her hands on it. The Pepsi and milk concoction first came on the scene on American sitcom Laverne and Shirley.
However, it shot back into the limelight thanks to a tweet in 2020 long after everyone had forgotten about its existence, and it’s been a meme ever since (you can see it re-shared via an Instagram post here).
“Partnering with Pepsi to announce Pilk and Cookies has been an incredible experience,” said Lindsay as her advert dropped.
“As someone who loves the holiday season and embracing new traditions, I was thrilled to have a little bit of fun with Pepsi and their take on the dirty soda.
“For people learning about Pilk for the first time, I won’t lie to you when I say I was a bit skeptical when I first heard of this pairing, but after my first sip I was amazed at how delicious it was, so I’m very excited for the rest of the world to try it.”
Some might call the reinvention of ‘Pilk’ a savvy move from Pepsi, and some would say it’s not up their street.
As for us? We say, stop trying to make ‘Pilk’ happen, Lindsay. It’s never going to happen.
Sorry, we couldn’t resist a Mean Girls gag…