Have you seen the new Pepsi rebrand?

Not much fizz.

I like the idea of turning the blue-red wave into a smile – positive story, confident playfulness. Sounds nice on paper. . Just doesn’t look nice on paper. Not to me, somehow. Looks like a student had a worthy go at it – a bit limp for the real world. Yet all at a mind-bending $1.5Billion roll-out. In the, ah, real world.

It’s about execution. Which really comes down to exec caution, I suspect.

I was chatting with Gel over coffee in the Cali this morning, about how recession can claim some good agencies and businesses through really unfortunate timing, but also sometimes through their own lack of proper ideas when it counts. You have to have an idea. Everything is fed by the idea – the message you’re strategising with.

Now, here is an idea that’s falling down in the execution. And I’ll just bet that the artroom guys went through eye-crossing variants on the classic logo to arrive at this boardroom-friendly compromise. They have my sympathy. But the end result – does it add to the brand or detract from it?

As a flat graphic – the core reduction of the brand’s key memory-jogger, the logo – it kind of reduces it for me. Tries to add some pep, but takes away from the integrity of the simple classic mark.

I remember when they radically rebranded in the early nineties. One friend at art college memorably said it looked like “Pepsi from Back to the future”. Kind of space age. Bold.

This one is just a bit… flat.

Now, if it was me. Yeah.

Daft Russian Constructivist, cold war graphics at spikey angles. Nice. All red and white and black. ..No, forget why. Forget the fizz focus groups. Just aim for the post-communist market. Bold move. New opportunities. If Coca Cola is the US dream, flip the appeal. Yeah.

Bear with me.


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