If Coke has stuck doggedly to the use of red and its classic script logo, Pepsi has inexplicably clung to its banal bottle design. But no more. The sixteen-year-old bottle is now out and a rather lumpy replacement is in, which looks somehow more like a weapon of mass destruction than a soft drink container. Angelique Krembs, Vice President, Pepsi Marketing, tells us that ‘Our single serve bottle is the most visible and tangible connection point we have with our consumers, and we love how the new bottle expresses our brand DNA.’ Not convinced? There’s more.

The press release goes on to say that ‘The new bottle’s bold swirl and elevated profile reflect the brand’s attributes and youthful spirit, capturing the excitement of now for Pepsi consumers. The etched, grip-able bottom allows consumers to have a more stimulating, tactile interaction with the bottle itself.’ Sounds like Pepsi guzzlers were getting just a little bit too excited and were dropping the bottle during their favorite reality show. Gotta love that ‘etched, grip-able’ bottom.

Somehow Krembs’ comments reminded me of The Society of the Spectacle, a classic work by French philosopher Guy Debord. While written in 1967, Debord’s observations on marketing and mass media have a timeless quality, much like those of the Canadian philosopher Marshal McLuhan. Wikipedia summarizes this nicely, in stating that, ‘Debord argues that the history of social life can be understood as ‘the decline of being into having, and having into merely appearing.’ This condition, according to Debord, is the ‘historical moment at which the commodity completes its colonization of social life.’ Feeling colonized yet?

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