Thursday, July 07, 2005

Diet Pepsi Smarts.

It's a good bet that there's a little bit of tension in the Pepsi family marketing departments. How so? Five words - "Smart," "Choice," "Among," "Soft" and "Drinks."

If Diet Pepsi were a stand-alone brand, it'd be one thing. But that Diet Pepsi is part of a family of brands, it doesn't make much sense to be dissing the bro down the hall, especially using the word "smart." If you're not smart, you're...average? Mediocre? Maybe...DUMB?!


Scene: The offices of Diet Pepsi's marketing department. Rich woods, marble flooring and beautiful Persian rugs are the decor - bookcases of gilt-edged, leather bound works of super-smart genius writers line the atrium. Staff are having thoughtful discussions over snifters of cognac and plates of exotic cheeses.

Vivaldi's Four Seasons is being played by a tuxedoed quartet. A waterfall bubbles in the background. An English butler stands at the ready besides a mahogany desk. water-cooler.

Suddenly, the 10-paneled cherry-wood door opens and a roughly dressed, unshaven man stumbles in like a drunken Bill Murray. The room becomes silent and all eyes train on the ill-dressed man that has noisily intruded their abode.

Diet Pepsi butler: Excuse we...know you?

Guy: Yo! Check the digs of this place! This's LIVIN!

Diet Pepsi butler: May we be...of service somehow...Mister...?

Guy: Call me Billy-bob! (extends hand for handshake). Don't mind the open sores. We'been blowin up firecrackers!

Diet Pepsi butler: (looks at swollen, puss-filled hand) "No thank you."

Guy: AnyHOO, I'm from down the hall - ya know, Mountain DEW? We're the piss-yeller pop with caffeine?! (laughs).

Diet Pepsi butler: Please state your purpose.

Guy: Well, we done busted the copier playin with Ellie May's rottweiler and we need to borrow some ink toner. Got some?

Diet Pepsi butler: No. Please leave.

Guy: Well, guess we're fired then. Ok, see ya'at the company picnic - and bring yer gater wrastlin clothes!

(door slams, the quartet begins where it stopped, the thoughtful discussions on developing the Diet Pepsi brand resume)


Appreciating that Diet Pepsi drinkers are not likely to cross brands, it's still no reason to cast disrespect on the other Pepsi brands. The current wording is too negative and too...well, "nothing."

How about this:

"Diet Pepsi is the perfect soft drink for people who can sacrifice calories, carbs and sugar, but not taste."

This copy hits the main attributes of DP and presents them in a positive light, emphasizing DP's differentiator over its competition, taste without demeaning the sister brands.

One positive note - the DP label copy did inspire my thirst; a thirst for the ultimate ZERO carb, ZERO calorie, ZERO sugar beverage...WATER.

And I can drink as much as I want for free. Smart, huh?