Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

  1. “Schizophrenia” is a serious disease. Your headline is incredibly offensive and demeaning. Would you call a marketing situation “Branding AIDS,” I wonder?

  2. Karen,

    Fair point. Though no offense was meant, it was clearly caused and for that I apologize. I’ve changed the title of the post.

  3. Pepsi’s always had a more disjointed brand image than Coca-cola but you’re right, this goes too far. (70s references? It’s the 80s which are meant to be back, not the 70s.) It’s only a temporary offer so maybe it’s just an attention-grabber – do you know what the actual drink is?

    Reminds me of the Pemberton ad for Coke a little while back…would love to know what piece of research prompted this one!

  4. Katherine,

    I’m not familiar with the Pemberton ad, do you have a link?

  5. Brands have revived past logos for a while now and studies have shown that people generally enjoy the nostalgia. In this current economic climate of anxiety, ‘the past’ always seems safer, less complex and diffuse. I think it’s OK to have a complex brand story and I’m not sure that this current extension detracts any meaning. It’s a positive thing for the brand if someone feels a little comfort from the 70’s music, retro graphics and bright colors.

    I’d predict that consumers would welcome the change up – especially as a break from the otherwise omnipresent, loud and aggressive branding campaign it has at the moment.

    So I’d call it more strategy than confusion. Perhaps, and you make a good point, from an overall perspective it might feel like a little slicing and dicing to people. But then again, I’d doubt they’d take the time to notice.

    Nice article.

  6. I have no problem with Pepsi doing the throwback thing, I think it’s a clever concept and in line with my Deeply Immersive Narrative Universe (DINU) concept. My issue is with the timing. They just launched a new logo, I still see the old logo on tons of product in stores and now they put out this new one with music from the 70s, yet the logo has a real ‘olde timey’ script. Curious.

  7. It does seem weird that Pepsi would do a throwback campaign after just launching a new brand. If they love their new brand it seems that they wouldn’t want to take attention away from it so soon. I read that as, “how can we make people forget about this new brand”.

  8. I’m not convinced that Pepsi has to wait for the new logo to “sink in” before introducing brand extensions – I see the throwback as a timely change in tone and, like your concept, something that adds to the narrative.

    I think, also, that remaining consistent is very different to changing the look of your logo. The brands you mention (Nike, Apple, McDonalds) have all had make overs in recent years – the consistency is in the underlying proposition that the brand offers.

  9. Alex, Brandon & Katherine, great stuff from all of you. I reached out to Pepsi (via Twitter), hoping they’ll stop by to read your thooughts.

  10. The font selection of the throwback logo is interesting all by itself. It mimics Coca-Cola’s logo. Intentional? I’d assume so.

    Pepsi has a history of launching campaigns that leave people confused. As a previous commenter mentioned, do we even know what Pepsi Throwback means? Pepsi also has some sort of concert series (I think it’s a concert series) called Pepsi Smash. Though I used to hear it advertised everywhere, I was never really sure what “Pepsi Smash” meant. Still don’t. Just tried to Google it, and couldn’t find so much as a Wikipedia entry. Not good.

  11. […] for brands, and I’ve often written about this issue (see my take on recent Pepsi efforts here). So, when I was recently contacted by Logo Inn I decided to have some […]

  12. […] for brands, and I’ve often written about this issue (see my take on recent Pepsi efforts here). So, when I was recently contacted by Logo Inn I decided to have some […]

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