WHAT DID IT MEAN when Pepsi asked us to “Capture the excitement of NOW”? It meant expanding the brand identity from a mere product logo into a dynamic visual system that reflects the ZEITGEIST of today.
A GLOBAL ATTENTION DEFICIT
Visual identity goes way beyond a logo. Pepsi had recently reinvented its iconic globe, but to keep up with an evolving marketplace (and a certain adversary in Atlanta), the brand needed a holistic system to remind the world what this effervescent brand stands for.
CAPTURING THE NOW
Based on Pepsi’s energetic promise, “Capturing the Excitement of NOW,” we devised a dynamic system that could be applied to all touchpoints. Critical to the effort was the idea of strategic variance—which meant guidelines that could flex and allow for localized and in-the-moment cultural relevance while maintaining a consistent feel across markets. Starting with the logo’s inherent shapes and energy, we liberated the globe and demonstrated how the identity could transform itself again and again while maintaining its impossible-to-miss personality.
THE NEW WAVE
After decades with an unchanged bottle form, Pepsi needed to evolve its family of glass and PET (plastic) bottles to align with the new positioning.
For inspiration, our team combed Pepsi archives, examining wave elements from previous designs. The result? A sculptural shape that’s true to the brand’s past, yet contemporary and eye-catching. The bottle’s swirling shape creates momentum and energy, giving consumers a unique visual and tactile experience.
Implementing the new form is a business challenge for Pepsi’s global bottler network, so we worked closely with PepsiCo Research & Development to create design guardrails, focusing on a systematic approach that could meet the needs of the whole PepsiCo product family. In the end, our modular design approach allowed us to create several distinct solutions and pave the way for future designs at a significantly reduced cost.
A NEW GLOBAL VISUAL LANGUAGE
Tether’s visual language explorations included collaboration with key overseas markets, such as Saudi Arabia and China.
PEPSI ROAD SHOWS
To excite Pepsi’s senior leadership and get alignment on the new work, we designed a series of private pop-up exhibits in cities around the U.S. and in Dubai. The exhibits featured immersive audio, video, lighting, sound and were even decked out with a frosty cola bar. Generally installed in one day and packed up a few hours later, these exhibits needed to be loaded with innovative features, yet designed for efficiency. To ensure things went smoothly, we oversaw every installation, even the ones 7,500 miles away in Dubai.
Red Dot Design Award for excellence in packaging. Adoption of the new bottle forms by the PepsiCo bottling network. Launch of new design strategy in Mexico.
THE GAME doesn’t stop just because the crowds have gone home.