PepsiMax Controversy

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“Controversy” is a much hullabalood word these days. Don Imus–Wrinkly American Radio Broadcaster–makes a bad joke and it’s a controversy…Steve Avery–NHL Hockey brawler–says “sloppy seconds” and there’s a controversy. Everyone everywhere is up in arms about everything!

Now Pepsi, the usually tepid and bland “other” American Cola manufacturer and generally huge corporation has commissioned an advert campaign for their bizarre but delicious and energizing drink PepsiMax that has stirred the veins of some sensitive folk.

The ads feature a lonely calorie (which PepsiMax has but one) solemnly putting an end to its misery in various scenarios. The calorie–represented by a bean-like fellow–is at once shooting himself in the head, swallowing a handful of pills and lighting himself on fire…amongst other creative methods of bereavement.

I find the ads funny and extremely well conceptualized and executed. As a person whose best friend offed himself by hanging a few years ago, I’m sensitive to the idea of suicide, but the context of these ads and there aim is clearly benign. My hate-mail typing fingers are halted by the inherent humor of a lonely bean hurtling himself toward death.

By: Brett Ruiz- Design

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2 Responses to “PepsiMax Controversy”


  1. 1 Ron December 10, 2008 at 9:26 am

    This has to be dumbest ad campaign Pepsi has run in years. First of all, the ads make no sense. Why is the calorie killing itself? That implies that there would be no calories after his suicide.

    Second, the tagline, “One very lonely calorie,” gives no hint as to what Pepsi Max is, other than yet another iteration of Diet Pepsi. Why not distinguish the product from the other competing products in their own company by telling you something about the added ginseng or the doubled caffeine content?

    Finally, the style of this campaign is completely off. The “illustration for illustration’s sake” style is contrived. The ridiculous additions of a moth and larva in the background of the third ad are proof of that.

    These points make one wonder: why bother with the campaign? Is it yet another controversy sparking, “all news is good news,” campaign? Is it out to win awards? There’s really no good reason.


  1. 1 PepsiMax Controversy | Eleven Magazine Trackback on December 4, 2008 at 3:36 pm

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