Filed under “an hour late and a day behind” was this post by LogoBlog.org, which is where I got the above images. I was shocked – and kind of amused, actually – that most of the commenters there refused to believe there was any connection at all between the two logos.
Fascinating! And absurd.
Assuming that Obama’s logo came first in this chicken-and-egg equation (I think LogoBlog has it backwards), there is no question in my mind – none, NONE – that PepsiCo looked to Obama when it redesigned its logo.
I used to work in corporate sponsorships at the Smithsonian. One of our best relationships was with PepsiCo, which generously sponsored an exhibition called, “In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better sponsor than PepsiCo. I’m being honest; I have nothing to gain by saying this. But I’ve worked with some nasty, arrogant, condescending corporate sponsors, and PepsiCo wasn’t one of them.
But like any successful corporation, Pepsi knew what market it was targeting through this particular philanthropic effort. The code word? “Urban.” They hoped to reach the “urban” market, sometimes the “urban youth” market.
I’ll just leave it at that.
Combine that with the advertising campaign associated with this logo launch and I really can’t see that there’s any room for dissent. These billboards now fill the Washington DC Metro stations. You know, WASHINGTON? Our capital city? Where 2 million people just attended the inuaguration of our first African-American President?
And it’s so much better than the ad campaigns of, say, Ikea, which just rode the presidential campaign’s coattails without any cleverness whatsoever.