I was really surprised to see the new ad campaign from Pepsi. It's point is that Pepsi has long been a beverage which everyone for generations has love. Not just today, but your parents loved it and even your grandparents drank it. There's Cindy Crawford's son -- and Cindy Crawford drinking it a decade earlier. There's Britney Spears drinking Pepsi back in 2001. There's Michael Jackson dancing and drinking it in the 1980s. There are your grandparents on a date drinking it. And that's a lovely message, and all well and good --
Except that Pepsi made its BIG breakthrough with "The Pepsi Generation." That it was the cola for today, for the young and hip. Not that old soft drink that your parents drink and people have been drinking for decades. It's a new world, it's the Pepsi Generation!!
And now -- drink Pepsi because your grandparents did???
(And yes, you get bonus points if you recognize the singer there as Joanie Sommers.)
But it's not like they just used that slogan in the '60s. Here's an ad from the 1970s, making the exact same point. That if you're young and hip, you're in the Pepsi Generation.
And the 1980s were the Pepsi Generation, too. And not just the generation of young people, but really young people. Like toddlers.
And then Michael Jackson came along with the latest Pepsi Generation, filled with young kids, the very hippest kids, dressing and dancing like Michael in the streets, making Pepsi the drink of their generation.
And on and on and on, through Britney Spears, Cindy Crawford and more, always the Pepsi Generation of the young -- and very young. And the most hip around.
Until this latest ad, where that's all out the window, and it's now suddenly the soft drink of your mom and dad and your grandparents.
Products change their ad campaigns all the time. And Pepsi has held on to theirs for a really long time, Since the 1960s. That's amazing. So, there's absolutely nothing wrong or even surprising with them doing so. It's just that I don't recall a product coming up with a new campaign that not only says the exact opposite of its previous campaign, but the exact opposite of how it's iconically identified itself for half a century.
Nothing wrong about that at all. Just surprising and worth noting.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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