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With everybody’s eyes and ears on the waning economy, people are asking how they can save money.Corporations are cutting out big parts of their budgets. General Motors announced it will not be buying Super Bowl ad space. They also announced they will be cutting philanthropic gifts, such as their sponsorship of the Detroit Opera and Detroit Symphony. And it doesn’t stop with the auto companies. All types of corporations are cutting back. And perhaps it is just bad timing that Pepsi Co’s $1.2 billion dollar rebrand (over 3 years) is hitting the shelves at this particular time of economic crisis. But the question still begs, “Is it worth it? Will it work?”…and more importantly, “does it look cool?!?”

Well I have mixed feelings about the different rebrands. It wasn’t only Pepsi that got a makeover, but Mountain Dew (which is apparently now Mtn Dew), Sierra Mist, Tropicana, and Gatorade.

Lets look at Pepsi first and Moun…uh…Mtn Dew first.

Honestly, I kind of like the new quirky smile ball logo. I like how it gets slimmer for the diet, and wider for the max. It also ads a wealth of opportunity for animations in online and television advertising. That being said…I don’t like the type treatment. It feels clumsy, unrefined, and awkward. The squiggle in the “e” looks forced, the curves in the p’s just look weird to me, and the “i” looks out of place. I think for $1.2 billion dollars they could have come up with a better typeface. I do however like the typeface for Mtn Dew.

I’m not so sure about everyone’s and their brother’s rebrand being minimalist nowadays…especially for a soft drink company. The problem is, when you see simple minimalist designs, you are supposed to think elegant, refined…even expensive. None of those adjectives describe Pepsi Cola. This doesn’t mean they had to go with the bursting water, explosive liquid graphics like nearly every other soft drink does. Come up with something more creative than a blank blue can.

However, my suggestion actually is still a minimalist design, but would have saved pepsi a whole lot of money.

Just go back to these vintage cans. They would have stood out, and you could have done some pretty cool marketing by going retro.

As for the Sierra Mist…it just plain hurts my eyes trying to read it.

Now, onto Tropicana. This redesign I like a lot. The previous Tropicana packaging was actually pretty good. Simple, elegant, clean. This fits the orange juice because it is an all-natural “high-end” product. Unlike it’s counterpart from Coca-Cola, Minute Maid, it is not made from concentrate, but is 100% pure natural squeezed oranges. So therefore a minimalist design is not out of place.

Parts of the typography seem a little wonky to me…but I can be picky. Overall I love it. I love the photograph of the curved glass in the background. I love the stressing of “100%” and the tagline of the campaign, “squeeze it’s a natural”. Overall, it says high-end and for this product I think it fits.

However, it looks like they spent considerably less time thinking about their Pink Lemonade rebrand…which looks like (excuse the brashness) total junk.

I can’t stand the typography. It looks like something from outerspace…as does the weird orbs surrounding the lemon. I get that the drink is artificially flavored, but I don’t want to be drinking space lemons, artificial or not. Enough said about that rebrand. Just bad all around. I don’t think much time or money was allocated towards this one.

And now for the rebrand from Pepsi Co that still has me thinking…Gatorade. I love the typeface, I love the design…but for Gatorade? Don’t I want to see explosions, sweat, high energy, sports, and action for a drink that is supposed to be drank to replenish my body after a hard work out?

Gatorade’s reasoning is they are trying to broaden their demographic. They have been losing sales to Powerade and Vitamin Water. Where non-athletes would have grabbed a gatorade in the past, they are now reaching for the hip, trendy, and surprisingly unhealthy, Vitamin Water. Gatorade’s new commercials now features not just athletes, but hip-hop celebs as well. In fact, Lil’ Wayne does the voiceover for the new commericial. (seen below)

I’m starting to like this rebrand.

Hmm, maybe the late comedian Mitch Hedberg had it all figured out years ago…

“By the way, you don’t have to be sweaty and holding a basketball to enjoy a Gatorade. You could just be a thirsty dude. Gatorade forgets about this demographic. I’m thirsty for absolutely no reason. Other than the fact that liquid has not touched my lips for some time. Can I have a Gatorade too, or does that lightning bolt mean “No”?” – Mitch Hedberg


the rebrands put out by pepsi give me confidence that my friends and I can continue to succeed in this ridiculous world. who are these people employing? hopefully i can make more than them some day.

Jon O. added these pithy words on Jan 13 09 at 1:41 am

Heeey.. great article.. love pepsi…
im a graphic designer from mexico.. Saludos!!

Angel Pichardo added these pithy words on Jun 15 09 at 11:14 pm

Hey.. talking again about your article, I red it all, and I don´t thing the same in some points.. First, the tipeface.. is great.. if you search for the image of the diet pepsi of 1980, the tipeface is the same.. we are living right now the 80′s stile, everything is going 80retro!! and the treatment of the letter “e” its because of the now old logo of pepsi.. watch it again..

and Second, Gatorade was sweat and energy and all that in the 90´s, now we are entering the 2010´s and the design is simple, retro and colorfull, search for the logo of the 2012 olimpics and the concept of it..

I dont want you to think that i say this in a bad way, im only sharing what i know..

the best wishes!!. Angel Pichardo

Angel Pichardo added these pithy words on Jun 16 09 at 12:52 am

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