Pepsi's new rebrand is sweeter than Aspartame
I had recently did a presentation to my creative colleagues and used the photo below. With the classic cans of Cherry Pepsi in the photo, it inspired me to raise a glass (or a can) to the new Pepsi rebrand introduced last week. You see, I am a sucker for nostalgia branding. Pepsi's refresh is a nod to the 80's design. Ah, the 80s. A time of neon colours, big hair, and questionable fashion choices.
You couldn't escape the Pepsi logo in the 80s if you tried! It was everywhere, like a pesky little brother following you, but instead of poking you in the ribs, it flashed its bold blue and red colours in your face. It was on billboards, magazines, newspapers, TV shows, movies - you name it, Pepsi was there, staring at you like a puppy waiting for a treat.
The Pepsi logo of the 80s was a product of its time. It fits right in with the excess and extravagance of the decade. And let's be honest, who didn't love those classic "Next Generation" commercials?
Pepsi knew how to make an impression, and they weren't afraid to pull out all the stops. They enlisted A-list celebrities, like Michael Jackson and his moonwalk, to sell their fizzy drink, and boy, it worked. Suddenly, everyone wanted to be like Mike and dance around with a Pepsi can.
In the '90s, Pepsi wanted to continue its cool. They had memorable Taste-Test Challenges, the hot Cindy Crawford commercials and not-so-hot Pepsi Clear. Their advertising got so over the top that Netflix did a special on Pepsi Points.
Then there was the 2008 Pepsi logo. It was a real head-scratcher. They took that classic, iconic design that everyone knew and loved and decided to give it a makeover. And boy, did they go all out. Was it supposed to be a smile? A butt? A dimple? Who knows. The real winner was us creative professionals who got a master class in brand rationale. That brand explanation was where the awesomeness lay. My old creative director John, said, "You got to lay it on thick!" I am sure he never meant that thick.
Last week, Pepsi unveiled its new rebrand. The word Pepsi is back into the "globe." The brand refresh includes a new traditional red, white, blue, and black colour palette. Pepsi's new brand system is not only modern and relevant to current trends, but it's also highly adaptable and cohesive. The new system is thoughtful in its design. It will be effective on various platforms, from social media channels like Instagram to physical products like cans and merchandise.
With the new flexible design, Pepsi is now easily modified to suit different contexts and applications while maintaining a strong, recognizable visual identity. This flexibility means that whether you're looking at a Pepsi ad on your phone, watching an NFL broadcast on TV, or wearing a branded hoodie, you'll always be able to identify the brand and connect with its messaging.
While the branding has been designed to be versatile, it still retains a consistent look and feel across different platforms and applications. The versatility helps to reinforce Pepsi's brand identity and makes it easier for consumers to recognize and engage with the brand, regardless of where they encounter it.
By prioritizing flexibility and cohesiveness, Pepsi has created a visually engaging and highly effective system, as well as tapping into my inner fanboy for anything 80s. We now need Coke to bring back Max Headroom.
If you ever want to talk about branding, fizzy drinks or 80's nostalgia, or contact me.