Friday, December 12, 2008

Go Pepsi, Go

I spent seven years working for Pepsi at the height of the Cola Wars. I’m still a Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max fanatic to this day. The hardest working Pepsi logo was developed in 1971 and survived until a rebranding took place when I was with company in 1987. It was a change that cost over $100 million to implement. We had to change every truck, vending machine, fridge, postmix machine, stadium sign, and point of sale material all around the world.

Now a new logo has just been developed and will be introduced next year. It’s only the 11th in Pepsi’s 110 year history, but it’s the 5th in the past 21 years. I haven’t seen the logo yet but I’ve read about it. It’s a white band in the middle of the Pepsi circle that forms a series of smiles. A smile will be the central identity of brand Pepsi; it will turn into a grin for Diet Pepsi and a laugh for Pepsi Max. Sounds very Lovemarks to me and adds intimacy and sensuality to the brand.

It’s very interesting to see how the pace of change in packaging has accelerated, reflecting modern times where the consumer is boss. It also reflects the idea that we can connect past, present, and future and not hang on to things that become more outdated more quickly in today’s highly visual marketing arena. As well as making the brand feel more intimate, it also adds personalization and brings together a variety of the Pepsi brands in an interesting, mobile, dynamic way. I think it’s very exciting.

Full credit to CEO Indra Nooyi and Marketing Head Massimo d’Amore. This is a rewriting of the rules. Very Pepsi.

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