Nikita Mishra
Mar 4, 2024

Pepsi unveils new logo and identity; colours 120 markets in electric blue

The bold logo shift after 14 years resonates with the “ripple, pop, and fizz” effect. To celebrate, Pepsi has activated over 120 CGI moments across the globe in a coordinated first.

Pepsi’s iconic logo has remained unchanged for 14 years, but now the cola giant is stirring things up internally with a fresh logo and a revamped brand identity that debuted worldwide on 1st March 2024. The new logo was first unveiled back in March 2023 and rolled out only across North America at the time to coincide with the brand's 125th anniversary. 

The global launch of the new visual identity is marked by a takeover of iconic landmarks worldwide with larger-than-life digital installations. In a co-ordinated first,  120 CGI moments are being orchestrated worldwide, including an installation at Hosier Lane in Melbourne, Australia, the mid-game colossal Pepsi can that descended at Pakistan's Gaddafi Cricket Stadium, a massive hot air assembly forming the Pepsi logo in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and Warsaw, Poland. Other large-scale activation locations included Mumbai, India, the Nile in Egypt and Ain Dubai.

The refreshed identity “borrows equity” from the brand’s 125-year history and draws inspiration from the logos of the 60s, 80s and 90s. The most significant update is that the 'Pepsi' wordmark once again sits right in the midst of the yin-yang globe—exactly how it was for children of the ’80s and ’90s. As part of the design process for this visual change, Pepsi experimented to ask fans to draw the logo as they remember it. Despite the text 'Pepsi' not being inside the globe for over 30 years, the majority included the text within, inspiring Pepsi to bring back its roots. 

The new logo also features a bold colour palette, a white wave, and a retro-inspired, uppercase typeface (per the brand, that’s reflective of its "unapologetic mindset"). The blue is more 'electric', in fact, closer to purple than midnight, the black lettering a throwback to the logo of the 1960s.

Yet, the brand refresh is anything but a simple nod to nostalgia. The emphasis on black and sleekness is a significant departure from its traditional design. It is similar to Pepsi Zero Sugar, signalling a pivot towards healthier choices and a more health-conscious lifestyle. A move aimed at expanding Pepsi's reach among the GenZ cohort, a third of them claim to cut down on sugar entirely. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Pepsi India (@pepsiindia)

The brand will also support a range of cultural moments throughout 2024 to In 2024, fans globally can expect to see more from its existing partnerships with ambassadors, including Baby Monster (Asia–Pacific), Uraz Kaygilaroglu (Turkey), G.E.M., Dylan Wang and Leo Wu (China).

Eric Melis, VP of global brand marketing for carbonated soft drinks at PepsiCo, emphasised that this visual identity shift vividly brings to life the brand’s transformation.

"What better way to showcase the brand’s transformation than through these iconic installations? We've always been a bold brand that challenges conventions, challenges the status quo and always puts enjoyment first. Our new visual identity is bold, unapologetic, modern, and iconic. Our fans can expect the same great taste they’ve come to love with even more of the immersive and entertaining experiences we’re known for across music, sport and culture," he said. 

"We have an exciting 2024 ahead of us with our next stop bringing awe-inspiring entertainment to the UEFA Champions League Final Kick-Off Show in June in Wembley and more."

Taking a cue from this bold new look, Campaign rummaged through the archives to show the brand's changing logos over the years since its inception in May 1863 under the name Brad’s Drink.

The original (1898-1905) 
 

 
 

The first logo was created by Caleb D. Bradham, a pharmacist and the inventor of the formula for the first Pepsi-Cola in New Bern, North Carolina in 1898. The font was a simple script, in the classic red and white colour scheme. The style was true to beverage's early days when Pepsi was marketed as a digestive aid, helping to relieve indigestion and other stomach ailments.

The 'double dot' (1940-1950)
 
Left: logo from the early 40s, Right: slightly tweaked version of the 50s

The 'double dot' (or the logo with a colon) is from the early 40s. A modernised tweak was rendered toward the latter part of the decade when Pepsi-Cola made its television debut. The colon gave way to a hyphen; the vintage feel and the red, blue design stayed. This was also the first time Pepsi tilted the brand conversation to focus on the beverage, talking about carbonation and emphasising its unique bubbly flavour and refreshing qualities.
 
The 'Pepsi globe' (1973-1991)
 
 
The 1970s marked a turning point for the beverage giant. The brand focus shifted to popular culture and catering to a younger, fresher cohort. The 'Globe' logo was born and the brand name positioned in bold letters. This design was a reflection of their new direction, their cool quotient and youthful energy.

The "new generation" (1991-2003)
 

In the 1990s, Pepsi revamped its logo again, introducing the "new generation" logo. This design featured a more streamlined and modern font and a blue and silver colour scheme. Once again, it reflected the brand's ongoing efforts to appeal to popular culture and attract a younger, more diverse audience.
 
The "simplicity" (2003-2008)
 
 
Minimalist and simplistic, the 2003 logo featured a blue and silver palette and a sleek, modern font. The clarity and simplicity of the logo were meant to highlight the purity and clean taste of the soda. 

The "refresh" Pepsi Logo (2008-present)


At the time, the diagonally-oriented "smile" through the red and blue ball and lowercase letters was the boldest shift Pepsi had made since separating the word from the circle in 1991. The signature swish element was to signify the movement and energy of the dynamically evolving world. 
 
The latest makeover comes as a host of companies—including Domino's, Mills, and General Mills—continue to play with retro packaging amid a surge of nostalgia from maturing Gen-Z consumers.
Source:
Campaign Asia

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