The more I thought about how I felt about the new identity, the more ridiculous I felt about having any regard or feelings at all.
It’s soda. Headlines declare a financial meltdown threatens the entire planet and here I am considering the choice of thin san-serif.
But feeling I did, and I determined that this makeover is not very manly. What I haven’t determined is if this lack of testosterone is good, bad, or even valid.
It’s definitely hard to imagine a meaty paw at the end of a thick furry forearm reaching for a bottle of this after a hard day of work. But as the retro typeface starts to fade away, maybe there’s a real winner hidden in this rebranding.
Imagine a can with hardly any words at all, just the smiling mark, required ingredients and nutritional information. What’s manlier than no words at all? Feelings are reduced to guttural sounds, arm waving and head nods.
This totally aligns with Pepsi’s Frank Cooper (his title includes VP, portfolio and brands) as quoted in an Advertising Age article about the new look, “We felt like, as we move out of this traditional mass marketing and mass distribution era into today’s culture, there’s an opportunity to bring humanity back, both in terms of the design but also in the way we engage consumers,” he said. “By making the logo more dynamic and more alive.”
I don’t know about all that mass marketing stuff, but the word that sticks out for me is dynamic! Which means the new Pepsi can work with flannel in the lumberyard or on the red carpet with evening-wear.
In the article they speculate on the cost of the new logo (north of a million), to the cost of rolling it out from everything to trucks and vending machines. This entire process of rebranding could top several hundred million dollars.
That sounds like job stimulus to me, which makes me feel better about the whole thing… even the Obama-like “Refresh Everything” campaign.
This probably isn’t the right time to mention my resolution to drastically reduce soda intake in 2009. This decision is independent of any branding measures and purely based on health and wellness.
Original post date December 28, 2009, image updated March 15, 2023