Back to the future: Pepsi’s recent rebrand

Do we love it, or do we hate it?

Pepsi has unveiled their latest rebrand, which is the first in 14 years - and the reactions are rampant on social media. The latest rebrand is a nod to the 90s Pepsi we all knew and loved; which some would even say was Pepsi’s height of marketing - think billboard celebrity campaigns, brash imagery and a bold attitude. The new logo retains the Pepsi ‘globe’ which has been central to the logo since the 1950s – but has reimagined the 2D version used from the 1980s to the late 1990s.

Pepsi logo throughout the years. Source: Dezeen

Were the 90s the peak of Pepsi?

So why the nostalgic nod? CDO of Pepsi Co, Mauro Porcini, said the refreshed branding was designed to connect younger generations with Pepsi’s heritage by “marrying distinction from our history with contemporary elements to signal our bold vision with what is to come”.

Let’s look at the font. Pepsi has had a number of typefaces in their logo throughout the years, and they’re taking it back to blocky with a customised, san-serif, all-caps typeface; an apparent hybrid of the 1950-1986 logo and the logo prominent throughout the 90s. Todd Kaplan, chief marketing officer of Pepsi, said the rebrand was reminiscent of the 1990s version, which made an impression on consumers and “stuck”. Honestly, we couldn’t agree more.

The nostalgia nod

Some of Pepsi’s most iconic ad campaigns were throughout the 90s. Think Cindy Crawford, Wayne’s World and Britney Spears. Unlike the Kendall Jenner campaign from 2017; the 90s Pepsi campaigns were well-received - heck, they were even culturally celebrated. Could this be an attempt by Pepsi to, as we say, ‘get down with the kids’ again; after their last attempt at celebrity advertising flopped on this new generation of millennials? Perhaps. 

Whether you love or hate the return to nostalgic branding, one thing is certain. Pepsi’s rebrand has had the desired effect of becoming a tactical talking point on social media. 

So… What are the people saying?

Regardless, whatever our personal thoughts are on the rebrand, one thing seems to be certain: it was overdue. 

"At PepsiCo, we design our brands to tell a compelling and holistic story. Pepsi is a shining example of a brand that has consistently reinvented itself over 125 years to remain a part of pop culture and a part of people's lives," Mauro Porcini said in the press announcement.

What does this mean for Pepsi moving forward?

Unlike the last logo, the recent re-design was created in-house. The new logo rolls out in North America this year, and globally in 2024. It will span across all the brand’s physical and digital touch points, including packaging to fountain and cooler equipment, along with fashion and dining. 

Do we see a fashion collaboration coming with Pepsi and another infamous 90s retailer? Our money is on Tommy Hilfiger, if anything. What about you?

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