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Trying not to blackout from the Pepsi breathtaking branding


The internet has been able to exposure bad agency thinking on an epic scale never seen before. Will anyone ever forget the painfully lame “You know if we roll, we roll big.” pitch video for Subway that made me realize I would kick my own ass if I ever pitched business like that. Two years later a true successor to the thrown has emerged in the form of a PDF called ‘BREATHTAKING‘ that shows the logic behind the Pepsi brand re-design. I have been very public about the fact that I am not a fan of their new branding and don’t understand it on a lot of levels. This document shows absolutely staggering amount of spin and BS that went into making it. The work was done by Arnell who specializes in brand design and was posted by a brave freelancer who probably needs work in a new industry since no one will go near him after this. You can ready through the trajectory of innovation, Tracing the Pepsi Visual DNA and the Pepsi orbits that show the Pepsi Planet, Galaxy and Universe.

After seeing this and you have to be impressed that anyone could take an assignment like this and spin such a wildly complex and overblown solution to their creative. Have any of you ever used the Mona Lisa and the form of nature to support your creative direction? For me the worst part is that it worked and they bought it. This is my poster child for why if we live in ivory tower and forget that consumers don’t see the pitch deck, they aren’t in the meetings, and they don’t live with your brand like clients do but in the end all they see is the end product. In this case all of this overblown logic didn’t amount to anything much more than a shelf presence that looks to rival the most mediocre generic soda brands.

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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