Progression of Pepsi’s Advertising


After the company’s first commercial in 1950, Pepsi’s advertising would continue to prosper and grow over the years. The 50’s brought on not only a logo change, but a total change in direction to the brand’s initial strategy. The new logo incorporated the “bottle cap” design, and Pepsi was no longer advertised based on price. The new direction took on a much more lifestyle-based approach.

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The post WWII baby boomers created a whole new demographic for Pepsi to advertise to. What would later be referred to as the “Pepsi Generation” was sparked in the late 1950’s and the company fully committed to adjusting their advertising to meet their wants and needs. This new generation seemed to embrace life to the fullest and aim to live a much more carefree lifestyle. However, one noticeable difference in American culture post World War II was the increase in weight consciousness for both men and women. Pepsi ran with this idea and advertised themselves as a way to indulge and “refresh without filling” up.

pepsi_they_have_a_talent_for_friendship_1960Campaigns continued to feed off of the low caloric content selling point until 1958, when the new “swirl” bottle was released. That same year, Pepsi continued to expand to over 120 countries while simultaneously releasing their new “sociable” campaign. “Be Sociable, Have Pepsi,” ran across ads everywhere, headlined by “The Sociables prefer Pepsi.” These ads were sparked from the press, after capturing a photo of President Nixon and Soviet Khrushchev drinking Pepsi at the American Exposition in Moscow.  The “Sociables” campaign was the first Pepsi campaign to narrow down the focus solely to younger generations. This youthful consumer market continued to be targeted with the campaign, “Now It’s Pepsi, for Those Who Think Young” to follow.

Up until 1964, Pepsi had only sold “Pepsi-Cola,” but the baby boomers would be the first to change this. This generation’s dietary habits were significantly different than the generations that preceeded them, and a need for a low calorie drink developed in the market. Diet Pepsi was born in 1964, followed by it’s first campaign, “Girlwatchers.”The 1960’s didn’t just bring iconic Pepsi ads into the company’s history. This decade also brought several other companies under Pepsi-Cola’s wing. Mountain Dew was the first, followed by the merge with Frito-Lay, Inc. to officially from Pepsi-Co, Inc.

The 1970’s brought one of the company’s most historically recognized marketing strategies to the table, the “Pepsi Challenge.” Consumer tests confirmed that most people actually preferred the taste of Pepsi over Coke. Pepsi made advertisements out of real-life tests being done, and in 1976 Pepsi-Cola became the biggest soft drink brand in America. All branches of the company continued to grow, and by the 1980’s Pepsi was the top brand in take-home sales.

 Contact us today to learn how you can carry Pepsi products in your business. Curious to see what direction Pepsi took from here? Keep up with our blog over the next few weeks to see how this beverage giant progressed from here and where it stands today.