Branding the World of Sports

Can Pepsi afford to spend $1 billion on a butt crack?

Posted by ZA on October 31, 2008

Pepsi just spent months with one of the marketing world’s top design firms to redesign their corporate logo.  The results of that investment?  A lousy looking Pepsi logo, in my opinion.  Apparently I’m not the only one who shares that opinion.  Does Pepsi really want to go spend a billion dollars to brand a new Pepsi logo with something that some people think looks like plumber’s crack?

Comparing old and new Pepsi logo:

New Pepsi logo versus old Pepsi logo

New Pepsi logo versus old Pepsi logo

The concept behind the new Pepsi logo is that it is supposed to look like a smile.  Pepsi is a smile, Diet Pepsi will be hava logo that looks like a grin and Pepsi Max’s logo will be a full laugh.  Cute idea, but not one that seems worthy of spending $1 billion dollars to change every delivery truck, vending machine, in-store sign, etc. 

Evolution of Pepsi logo:

Pepsi Logo evolution
Pepsi logo evolution from

Pepsi is a 110 year old company and currently has one of the most recognizable brands in the World.  So why change all of that history to something as gimicky as a smile logo?  Personally I think it would be excellent for Pepsi to get back to their roots and use one of their former logos – either from 1962 (above) or 1971 (above).  Those are classic looks that will convey the longevity and history of this classic company.  Plus, vintage looks are en vogue today so they might spawn a whole generation of buyers who relate back to those classic looks.  They could even introduce some vintage looking t-shirts with the logo that might be a hot item with the young, trendy crowd.  Say hello to the return of Coca-Cola brand clothes, but this it’s Pepsi.

Attention Pepsi execs, before you spend all of that cash rolling out the new gimicky logo stop to consider what your logo says about your brand.  Are you a classic brand or one that caters to every new fad?  You don’t see Coca-Cola changing their logo every decade, they are still using a version of their classic.  I hope Pepsi reconsiders the new logo and goes with something a little more classic looking, I’d be impressed if they do.

PepsiCo’s major sports sponsorship deals:
* Gatorade endorsed by Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, Maria Sharapova, Derek Jeter and many more.
* Pepsi, Frito-Lay and Gatorade are all official NFL sponsors.
* Gatorade develops sponsorship for Tiger Woods, Tigerade is his own line of drink.
* Pepsi sponsors Nascar races (Pepsi 400).
* Pepsi sponsors Jeff Gordon, top Nascar driver.
* Pepsi’s Amp Energy drink sponsors Dale Earnhardt Jr, top Nascar driver.
* Pepsi’s Amp Energy drinks sponsors NHL game played outdoors.
* Pepsi-cola endorsed by sports stars including Shaquille O’Neal.

3 Responses to “Can Pepsi afford to spend $1 billion on a butt crack?”

  1. Zack: I agree. Coke has been running circles around Pepsi, with terrific ads like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day floats and the Grand Theft Auto parody, and VitaminWater encroaching way into Gatorade’s territory. Pepsi knows it and they blinked. This smacks of (very expensive) desperation.

    I added a little more on my blog. When you get a minute, pls check it out.

  2. Phil said

    I totally agree.

  3. Laverne said

    For a million bucks, I’d wear a suspender leotard with one of Pepsi’s classic logos embroidered on the chest, complete with fishnets. The uniform would be on me 24/7!

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