Saturday, February 14, 2009

New Pepsi Logo Spouts Controversy

Pepsi has recently modified their logo again to a barrage of criticism. The recognizable Pepsi wave, which has been a staple of the logo since the 60's has been turned on it's ear in this latest consideration. The logo retains the colors of it's predecessor but little else. Gone is the familiar symmetrical wave, it's been replaced with a skewed, barely recognizable version accompanied by a much lighter, airy typeface. The result is a distorted, watered down mutate of its former self, that in my opinion devalues years of brand equity.

Some excerpts and links from across the web exploring the reaction the logo has had upon it's debut.

NEW YORK ( -- How long does it take to remake an icon? Try five months.

That's the amount of time Pepsi took to revamp its famous logo, after top executives Indra Nooyi and Massimo d'Amore called for a "quantum leap" forward in transforming the soft-drink category and defining Pepsi as a cultural leader, said Frank Cooper, Pepsi's VP-portfolio brands.

"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 ... [it is] absolutely a huge step in the right direction."

And a costly one. Pepsi would not discuss what it's paying for the revamp, but experts estimate the cost for a top firm to work five months at north of $1 million. But that's just the beginning. The real cost, said an expert, is in removing the old logo everywhere it appears and putting new material up. For Coke or Pepsi, when you add up all the trucks, vending machines, stadium signage, point-of-sale materials and more around the world, it could easily tally several hundred million dollars, the expert said.

The new logo is a white band in the middle of Pepsi's circle that loosely forms a series of smiles: A smile will characterize brand Pepsi, while a grin is used for Diet Pepsi and a laugh is used for Pepsi Max. The new logo is Pepsi's 11th in its 110-year history. Five logos have been introduced in the past 21 years, with the last update in 2002.

Before & After: Does Pepsi’s new logo work?

Before & After: Old Pepsi, New Pepsi
Pic: Evolution of the Pepsi Logo
Brand New: In Brief: Pepsi Gets Official
Brand New: In Brief: The Wrong Kind of Breathtaking
Brand New: Pepsi, New Bottles
AdRants: Pepsi Unveils Packaging to 'Digital and Social Media Influencers'
Typophile: New Pepsi Logo: What Grade Do You Give It?
Fast Company: Pepsi Logo Design Brief: Branding Lunacy to the Max

Personally, I'll stick with a Coke!

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