July 13, 2007

Coke vs. Pepsi (Aesthetically Speaking)

Less is definitely more. The Coca-Cola Company proved that with the recent enema it performed on the famous Coke can. This simple redesign turned out to be one of the best product packaging overhauls of the last several years, and it is one that will go largely unnoticed by the general public. Instead, consumers will experience a barely detectable sense of nostalgia and perhaps an enhanced connection to the bubbly beverage, and nothing more. Why such a slight consumer reaction? Rather than slapping swooshes, splashes and halftone patterns onto the design, they removed extraneous design elements and, in so doing, returned the Coke can to its long-ago simple glory.

In a marketing milieu where corporations flood the public with visual noise, a move like this from such a large player should be applauded. Now Coca-Cola actually deserves the name "classic".

On the other end of the boxing ring stands Pepsi. Now I should probably mention that I have little conviction about which is a superior soft drink. My girlfriend Julie feels very strongly that Coca-Cola is the apex of all beverages. Because of this, no Pepsi can has ever seen the inside of our refrigerator. That notwithstanding, Pepsi's latest marketing effort takes the exact opposite approach as Coca-Cola, and quite frankly their new cans turn my stomach.

Adorned with flashy, urban patterns this suite of 15 unique designs attempts to speak directly to young consumers in what Pepsi calls "a salute to the spirit of youth and discovery". Unfortunately, these cans only succeed in widening the gap between mega-corporation Pepsico and it's consumers by trivializing youth culture with graphics of car rims, snowboarders and DJs. For Pepsi's full spectrum of youth culture clich├ęs, click here.


The Dog Dish said...

I loves z coke! The post is fantastic too. I absolutely love your attention to detail!

Anonymous said...

I love Coke, its has this great fresh taste, pepsi is ok, but not as mouth catching.Now Dr. Pepper or Diet DP is my ultimate FAV!!! Great post.

Midwest said...

Interestingly, I think that both designs suit their respective brands. Coke is all about its long-standing history. Pepsi aggresively markets itself as the "younger" drink. Clean, simple, and classic is most definitely NOT what they're going for.

That said, the Pepsi can makes my eyes tired.

Also, great post.

Anonymous said...

Coke's move away from the flashy, ridiculously over-dramatic design is, to be sure, a brilliant decision. Oh to be a fly on the wall during the design pitch...

I'm sure, however, that reality will get the best of Coke and they'll once again pollute the package design with "stuff" in a feeble attempt to lure in the younger crowd. Nostalgia is great. Until it gets old.