Pepsico Throws Back with Real Sugar Pepsi and Mountain Dew
I’m a little confused. Isn’t Pepsi the choice of a new generation—the opposite of Coke’s “Real Thing”? Although the cola was first introduced in the 1890’s, this is a brand that challenges convention and attracts youth. Don’t get me wrong. I’m an advocate for the power of branding and most certainly packaging, but doesn’t a campaign need to support the brand? Shouldn’t the advertising theme at least mirror a brand’s equities? What is a Throwback?
Much like the Cold War, awareness of the cola wars seem to have come and gone. Today’s beverage aisle is more fragmented and confusing than ever before. Maybe I’ve been following the category a little more closely since the failed redesign of Tropicana by Omnicom’s Peter Arnell, as well the group’s overhaul of many Pepsico’s other brands. Other than acknowledging something went drastically wrong with his redesign, I won’t make any further comment on Arnell’s methods (I’ll leave that to AdAge’s report from last year).
But how does a Pepsi throwback really support the progressive brand in the category? Do retro campaigns help sell more product to the next generation or just pull on some nostalgic heartstrings of an older one? Does a sugared cola harken days gone past or provide a beachhead for a future free of corn syrup? Is Pepsi trying to attract consumers that have just had enough of chemical substitutes and just want simpler “real” products? Is a retro supposed to be healthier for us? Is Pepsico testing the waters with their own version of “New Coke”?
Does a heritage offering support the Dr. Pepper brand better than Pepsi?
Maybe this just another promotional gimmick to get packaging aficionados to purchase a limited-time pieces of packaging history from one of the world’s most iconic brands. I do know my basement is getting full of packages used to demonstrate anything from new product launches, refreshed brands, and unique line extensions, as well as technical mishaps. But this one still puzzles me.
What does a Pepsi throwback represent? What do you think?
Hurry, these throwbacks will only be available until February 22nd.