The Public Image

July 1, 2013 4:09 pm

PepsiCo’s cardiac system billboards

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Pepsi campaign pictures for the public image, Business Life

Agency: BBDO Proximity Düsseldorf
Territory: Germany
Verdict: 4/5

Medical studies have linked sugary, carbonated drinks with conditions such as obesity and diabetes. The human circulatory system might therefore seem an odd choice of marketing image for PepsiCo.

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But the familiar red and blue colours of the human cardiac system proved irresistible for ad agency BBDO Proximity Düsseldorf. Its “Iconic Refreshment” billboard campaign is intended to remind customers that, like oxygenated blood, Pepsi delivers “refreshment and energy to all parts of the body”. The ad does this without a single typographical element. Viewers will enjoy locating the circled Pepsi logo but they will not find a slogan.

The agency deserves credit for originality. As Christian Mommertz, creative and managing director, notes, “depicting refreshment in a refreshing way” is not easy.

Similarly, the pared down motif is strangely beguiling and a welcome change from shouty, star-studded US soft drink commercials. It will also doubtless export well – there is nothing here that could not be understood in Cairo, Canberra or Caracas.

So long as viewers do not impute health benefits, the image will do no harm. Ultimately, the human body is 70 per cent water and refreshment does not require an infusion of cola.

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