New Pepsi Logo and Identity

You’ve probably noticed at your local grocery store or gas station that Pepsico has come out with a new corporate identity.  It’s clearly an attempt at an evolutionary (vs. revolutionary) change, with a similar color palette and predominantly blue background on the flagship product, Pepsi.  I think it’s a bad identity.  Find out why after the jump.

A logo refresh, and certainly a new corporate identity should push a company forward into it’s growing vision.  Branding should reflect where a company will be in ten years, and if properly done, will propel the company into that vision.  It should never be done to fit in better with “the crowd” or to better adhere to a current design trend.  Here’s the first thing that pops into most people’s minds when they view these:

pepsi logos

“So Pepsi voted for Obama?”  At which point the Pepsi executives would say, “No, that’s not the Obama logo – it’s a stylized smiley face!  Isn’t that fun?”  Well, it sure doesn’t look like a smile to me, and I’m all about symbolism and implied meanings.  It looks like a bad print job of the old Pepsi logo.

There’s a lot that’s bad about this, from the nauseating “e” in “pepsi”, to the clinical, cold layout, to the fact that it looks like the packaging for an mp3 player more than a food product.  Plus, the logo changes depending on the drink!  Come on, guys!  That aspect seems to have been an afterthought, since with the pepsi max can, the logo has a much larger “grin”, depicting the higher caffeine amount in the drink, but the rest of the pepsi max can is bland, boring, grey, clinical and sterile.  If you’re going to change the logo to depict a more exciting customer experience, you have to follow through with the entire package – which they have not done.

This new look seeks to set itself apart from the competition, which it does indeed.  I’ll give them that: they stick out like a sore thumb, or like a medical appliance in the frozen foods section.

Feel free to comment, especially if you disagree with me.  I know there are mixed opinions on this out there.

14 Responses to “New Pepsi Logo and Identity”

  1. JBishop says:

    I have to tell you that when I first purchased a Diet Pepsi out of the vending machine at work and noticed the logo, I thought, “Either Pepsi is using up some old cans from the 70's that I've never seen before, or they are capitalizing on the effective campaign as designed for Obama.” You are right in that it is a noticeable change and will make them stand out amongst their competitors, but I think it was a dirty move on their part.

    There is nothing I hate more than feeling that a company is clearly trying to trick people into buying their product instead of creating a unique campaign that communicates the quality of their product. It was very lazy of them.

  2. Ouch! Well said! I love what you said about “…cans from the 70's…” because this whole thing reminds me of when Coca Cola came out with “New Coke” in the 80's. Remember that? It was a big mess, including the not-quite-redesigned packaging.

    I do have to wonder, when you had that Diet Pepsi, did it taste any different? I know when I look at the new Pepsi packaging, I expect a different taste to accompany it, which I suppose is what they were going for.

  3. JBishop says:

    I do remember that! I'm wondering if they are still making Pepsi Zero. I don't know anyone that drinks it.

    No, it did not taste any different. Same taste, bad packaging. :)

  4. Gloria Cotten says:

    Is this new Pepsi logo part of a “less is more” trend? I stopped in the grocery store late this afternoon to pick up some orange juice for breakfast. I spent several minutes looking for my old familiar Tropicana, no pulp. Finally I spotted it, right in front of me all the time, but in a drastically changed UGLY, no impact box. It's pale, pale orange and white. No pictures of oranges. It siimply says “Orange juice. No pulp.” Even the Tropicana name brand is hard to see. Is everyone, beginning with Pepsi, aiming for unforgettable???

  5. I love the new look of your site, by the way! And I especially like the poster you did for the Masquerade party. Great work!

  6. Thanks for the complement, and good call on the Tropicana redesign! Guess who owns Tropicana . . . PEPSI!!! Their ridiculous design sense continues to lay the axe to the root of good design across all their brands. I'm working on a new blog post examining the Tropicana redesign right now.

  7. claire says:

    I loathe Pepsi's recent design “choices.”

    I am a big Diet Mountain Dew drinker. (I have a job this school year, so I can support my habit. Thank God.) It's a Pepsico product, so of course the packaging looks like turdmuffins now. The background is green geometric shards. Like the background of a really tacky man video game. Yeah, not appealing. Oh! In an effort to draw in today's instant messaging and texting soda drinkers, Pepsi deleted most of the letters in the name! It's “DIET mtn DEW” now. Ew.

    The design I'm pretty sure I remember was right before this one: http://www.stuffithinkiscool.com/files/images/0

    THIS one (regular, not diet): http://www.thedieline.com/blog/images/2008/11/2

    I wish I hated Diet Mountain Dew, but I can't stop drinking it….

  8. Nice links, and nice commentary! Did you know that Pepsico has officially changed the Trademark of Mountain Dew to “mtn Dew”? Is that not exceedingly ridiculous, or what?! There's a real legacy behind the “Mountain Dew” name, going back to old labels that referenced moonshine and hillbillies. It's sad to see that legacy trampled-upon.

  9. tyrese says:

    Pepsi logo from Arnell sucks. Arnell wrecked the logos on the Pepsi flagship brand! It does not speak “change” it speaks “old”. It looks like it is from years ago. The Gatorade logo sucks too, basically all the Arnell designs suck.

  10. golfman_story says:

    Great post, really help me alot. Thanks.

    http://dieting.the-mnm.info

  11. SSutherland says:

    Seems like lots of large corporations are going in for re-designs of their logos these days and then messing them up. The saying “why fix it if its not broken” springs to mind. The Pepsi execs may get sick of looking at thier logo but that doesn’t mean that consumers have.

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