Will Pepsi’s skinny can connect with customers?

Pepsi, recently unveiled a new design for their Diet Pepsi Cola, which will be made available to customers in March. The new design was presented at New York’s fashion week. Pepsi explains their new design concept as “a slim attractive can” made in the “celebration of beautiful, confident women.” However, many are finding the new can design problematic. NEDA, the National Eating Disorder Association, has publicly denounced the new design and brand positioning created by Pepsi that “skinny is better.”

Perhaps, the positioning of Pepsi’s product at Fashion Week was slightly shortsighted, but its interesting to see a number of Pepsi’s advertising efforts coming under fire. After the Super Bowl, the popular PepsiMax commercial featuring an African American couple has been criticized as perpetuating the “Angry Black Woman” stereotype. To me, it’s interesting that the public is split on this issue: whether it was just a funny commercial vs. a problematic racially insensitive piece.

Overall, when Pepsi debuts its new can in March…I think most customers will ask: Does a skinner can mean less soda? the answer? No.

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3 Responses to Will Pepsi’s skinny can connect with customers?

  1. sasamao says:

    Pepsi’s skinny can was actually discussed in my other class on….what do you know…the class blog as well. Pretty much reiterating my thoughts from the other blog, it doesn’t take a brain scientist to realize what the sensitive topics are in our current society. Similarly, it doesn’t take a media literate student to know the underlying forces that are at work here. Pepsi claims that they are celebrating ‘beautiful and confident’ women, but then they go ahead and make a ‘slim’ can. With the PepsiMax commercial, although the perpetuated stereotype may not be obvious for some, it was still offensive…and the fact that it generated such angry responses should show the marketing team (which at this point should be replaced) how terribly derogatory their advertisements are. Maybe some people are overreacting, but last time I checked, if the percentage is nearing 50%, that is more than just some people. Especially for a company that profits from its consumers, I’d think twice before I get on the bad side of more.

  2. Jessica says:

    In addition to their insensitive marketing postion, I think the skinny can is downright misleading which you touched upon in your final remark. I think a great number of consumers will see what appears to be a “smaller” can and assume that it is healthier, also taking into account that it is for a diet product. Which brings to mind the Coke Vitaminwater suit and Coke’s defense that a “reasonable consumer” wouldn’t believe that Vitaminwater is a healthy beverage; I think Pepsi’s defense would be similar…after all why would a can that looks smaller be assumed to be just that, smaller.

  3. shotlowr says:

    @Jessica I think you are exactly right. The smaller can definitely denotes healthier sizing. I think this problem (misrepresentation of product) will continue to rear up with different products…as local counties decide on laws against unhealthy foods.

    @sasamao I was actually surprised to see the public so evenly divided on the issue. And I agree it speaks volumes.