Pepsi Taps Obamamania

I’ve been enjoying watching the clever bit of sometimes subtle and sometimes overt alignment that Pepsi has been practicing with regard to riding on Obama’s coattails. Did you catch it?

I have to imagine that when the Obama camp debuted its logo that folks in the legal department at PepsiCo scoffed and that the marketing department cheered. Pepsi as a brand had to be pleased that the two logos shared more than a little in common. The Obama camp benefited from having a logo that seemed familiar and had positive associations. Pepsi also grabbed some momentum at being associated with such a historic, popular and youth-driven campaign. Pepsi has seemingly taken the next logical step and made the two logos look even more identical with a new redesign.

In a recent ad entitled “Word Play/Yes You Can” the alignment was as explicit as possible. The commercial featured emulation of the “Yes We Can” motto from the Obama campaign, the flashing of messages such as HOPE and ALL FOR ONE and a soulful tune in the background. Fixing one’s corporate wagon to a star such as a popular president who is awash in media who gush over his every move is a smart yet risky move. The latest Obama adulation from Pepsi came during the Super Bowl where they aired an ad that featured ardent Obama supporter and recording artist Will.i.am. For those unfamiliar with him you might remember the anthem he penned after Obama’s original “Yes We Can” speech.

From a corporate perspective this juxtaposition of president and beverage isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem. PepsiCo has an impressive history of promoting minorities to leadership positions within its organization. Perhaps that’s part of the story Pepsi wants to tell? That as an organization they had a role to play in advancing equality in this country. Or perhaps their aim is to share the enthusiasm of the moment with a new “Pepsi Generation.” Does it cheapen a great moment in history by attaching crass consumerism to it? I’m not sure. All I know is that I’m thirsty. Does anybody have a Pepsi?

See more the of the ads described above here: Pepsi’s YouTube Channel