Pepsi and Arnell.

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First off, Peter Arnell of the Arnell Group is one of the leading lights of branding today. He’s an artist, he has taste, he’s daring and though I’ve never seen him in action is probably larger than life in a room filled with marketing executives. The late Peter Kim of JWT and McCann was that way, minus the artist part.

 

But I will go on record as betting against his ability to turn around Pepsi. Nice, exciting new logos? Yes. Excited Pepsi drinkers, sucking down cases of bev, I think not. “Smiles” is an ownable branding idea (that’s what the new logos are all about,) but "fun smirks" would be better. Personally, I would give the smirk campaign to Crispin Porter Bogusky or TBWA/Chiat Day and see if they can reenergize the sweet seeking masses.  Crispin has learned some important lessons in selling (or not) soft drinks, so I think today they can nail Pepsi.  Pepsi needs energy, not merchandising tactics. It needs an idea that mobilizes drinkers. It needs a killer ad campaign first, then the merch and promos and digital games can follow.