Pepsi is redesigning its 16 and 20 ounce bottles for the first time since 1977. The new design features a swirled grip on the bottom portion of the bottle, a shorter label edged in a "cola-coloured" border and an enlarged version of its current globe logo and applies to Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max and Pepsi Next.
"This new bottle is the next milestone in Pepsi's 'Live For Now' marketing campaign," Angelique Krembs, VP of marketing for the Pepsi trademark stated "Our single serve bottle is the most visible and tangible connection point we have with our consumers, and we love how the new bottle expresses our brand DNA.'' "We started with single serve, because it is the package you're seen drinking and holding, the longer-term view is this new design system would eventually hit all touch points beyond packaging, to be honest, but certainly all other package types, as it applies." It is great to see brands getting it right - everything evolves around your most tangible touch point, your packaging. As our dear Juho Viironen always says ''if your core product is #&%, why would you spend money advertising it?''
Here is the bottle design justification part - PepsiCo's press release states, "The new bottle's bold swirl and elevated profile reflect the brand's attributes and youthful spirit, capturing the excitement of now for Pepsi consumers. The etched, grip-able bottom allows consumers to have a more stimulating, tactile interaction with the bottle itself." The new bottle is the first iteration of the redesign of the full portfolio currently underway under the stewardship of PepsiCo's Chief Design Officer Mauro Porcini, with additional elements to be rolled out throughout the year." Can Mauro Porcini turn the fortunes around for Pepsi - lets hope. We surely need a success story that diverts and over shadows our attention away from anti-obesity concerns, falling sales and of course from a design perspective early 2009. A year when a 27 page design document was leaked "breathtaking design strategy" included some fairly ridiculous claims to justify the ultimately minor changes to Pepsi's logo - the golden ratio, the earth's gravitational field, "a scientific method of colour assignment," and the "gravitational pull of Pepsi" were all cited as inspiration and reasons for the change. Not 'designs' finest hour, nor Pepsi's.
Here at PACKLAB we are looking forward to getting our hands on this packaging, although we prefer not to judge until we are holding it, it doesn't do us any harm to give our first impressions. It looks like its going to be great to hold, especially the 16 ounce which from a portionability perspective sounds ideal. Does it have the potential to be iconic and design future classic - its questionable, although it does look good. Just can't help feeling that Coca-Cola's journey has been evolution and PepsiCo's has been revolutionary and all about the next generation. Problem is every generation buys coke not just the new. There is still something very nostalgic about the Coca-Cola brand and that is sadly missing from the Pepsi brand. Of course we all know the structural packaging can be just as effective branding tool as the logo itself - just take a look at Coca-Cola's iconic "contour bottle" design. Coca-Cola has understood that it is an iconic packaging brand - like most brands consumers touch, make assumptions and the taste of a product has already been influence before even been touched. Ian Rooney the CEO of PACKLAB believes that the future successful food and beverage companies are the one's who understand that they are a packaging development company too.
So can Pepsi be an iconic packaging brand? The 2009 brand identity still over shadows these developments even after all this time - the identity still makes many cringe. Would it do Pepsi any harm to take a few steps back to take a few big steps forward?
Further reading: fastcodesign.com