COMMENT: EDITORIAL; Pepsi hails the colour of money

This week’s gigantic launch of the new Pepsi colours reportedly involves some of the most expensive publicity ever. It certainly involves some of the most innovative PR tactics - such as turning the Mirror blue and repainting Concorde. Freud Communications, an expert at this kind of spectacular, has excelled itself on behalf of its blue chip client.

This week’s gigantic launch of the new Pepsi colours reportedly involves

some of the most expensive publicity ever. It certainly involves some of

the most innovative PR tactics - such as turning the Mirror blue and

repainting Concorde. Freud Communications, an expert at this kind of

spectacular, has excelled itself on behalf of its blue chip client.



But why all the fuss about a change of packaging? The product otherwise

remains the same, Pepsi wisely avoiding the ‘new formula’ trap which

once blighted Coke.



The PR textbooks tell us that the best strategy is to match reality to

perception and vice versa. If the perception of your product exceeds

reality, people will lose faith in your message. If the reality is

better than the image, someone isn’t doing their job properly. But what

happens when the reality is, dare one say it, as dull as sugared water?



In anyone’s book, spending dollars 500 million on changing the colour of

your packaging (pounds 6 million just on the launch) is a lot of money.

But when your product is both essentially unchanging - perhaps

unchangeable - and pitted against a global rival in an all-out war of

attrition, you constantly need new angles with which to woo the cola

quaffing public.



There is of course a danger that consumers may not be impressed by the

colour of the emperor’s new clothes. The skill of PR operators like

Freud therefore lies in persuading us all that it really does matter. On

this week’s frenzied evidence, they may succeed. But in the end, sales

figures alone will determine whether this round will go to the blue

corner or the red corner.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in