Pepsi brand goes to digital commentators

In a bid to convince the world that the new Pepsi brand work is good, the Pepsi brand team has sent packages out to influential bloggers around the world (strangely i didn't get one ;). the package includes a motions piece (see below)

Video courtesy of AdGabber

Strangely the roll out seems to take a very historic view of the Pepsi brand and attempts to remind us of the great heritage behind the world's second favourite cola. The problem with this approach is that your faced with a selection of really bad brand work. Over the years Pepsi has made some regrettable decisions on logos and designs, so perhaps it's not something they should be aligning the new work with.


If i could do anything...

inspired by Hudsonbec's collective art project, i put this poster up in the preview kitchen. No real purpose other than to get everyone in the agency contributing to something outside of the usual project work.

It was wonderful to see it growing each day. There was no instructions or deadline, i just let everyone write anything they wanted.

The final list went like this...
  • Buy a Ferrari F1 Modena 360
  • Enjoy the sunshine with my family
  • Go on my honeymoon
  • Drive across the Millau bridge in France in an Aston Marin DB5
  • Win a karaoke competition
  • Create a cure for stupid
  • Wake up in a world where things work correctly
  • Eat dinner in an oyster bar and enjoy it
  • Get my motorbike license
  • Build a house out of water and paper
  • Ride an alpaca
  • Join Alphabeat
  • Swallow chewing gum, swim after eating, go out with wet hair
  • go strawberry picking
  • become an ant and not get killed
  • Do an entire pitch in Finnglish (and win it)
  • Heal the world, make it a better place for you and for me and for the entire human race
  • roll a phat one, drop a beat and bust a move
  • moonwalk a mile
  • follow mr spoon to button moon
  • ride to japan on a unicycle
  • republish the bible with a different ending
  • destroy BT and all those who work for it, with it and near it
  • find my brother a suitable wife
  • eat mushrooms without being sick
  • change my name to Brenda
  • Buy an umbrella that can't be lost
  • go back in time to yesterday and add something better to this list
  • buy a track car and go racing
  • patent my chocolate trousers
  • stop eating my chocolate trousers
  • go to Paris in my Toyota yaris
  • Buy a tailored Gucci suit and do the gardening in it
  • sail round the world in a luxury racing yacht
  • make a list that never ends
  • Find a fish that has fingers
  • Paint the town red. The whole town, including everything in it.
  • Build a city out of rock n' roll - although it would be structurally unsound.


Christopher Doyle - identity guidelines

I found this on the mighty FormFiveFifty. Sydney based designer Christopher Doyle has put together a hilarious set of guidelines for himself. He has clearly been through a few branding projects to write and compile such a good parody. As a job finding and profile raising exercise it's perfect. I am very jealous.

McCann Manchester's Promo video.

Simply shocking.


Logo loco

Over the past month I've been working on three branding projects. Whilst there is clearly a lot more to branding than logo design, it is a key aspect. It seems the logo design process is always more in depth than expected.

I've designed so many logos in the past four weeks i can't even see then anymore. to be honest I'm baffled i can keep coming up with new ones. Over the three projects there must have easily been over 200 different logo designs. admittedly the majority were either inappropriate or just plain crap, none the less it has been exhausting.

Design Weak

If you haven't already seen this I suggest you pay a visit to Design Weak. It is the handy work of Mr Steve Price at Plan-B studios. His writing style is lovely. Totally honest and straight forward.

I saw Steve take part in Wired Sussex's Pecha Kucha night last year. His work and presentation was very different from everyone else and took some unexpected turns and twists in to different subject matter. Although i have to say it's hard to think of his presentation without thinking of the mentalist heckler that he had to deal with. He did a good job considering the woman was clearly in need of medical attention.


Pepsi rolls out brand 'make over'

Pepsi has rolled out a 'brand makeover' this week. essentially it's not a makeover, they have arsed about with the logo, the patriotic colours are still in place and the product names remain.

The amended logo turns the red, white and blue motif in to a lopsided comic smile design. It's unclear at this point what the purpose of the make over is, but after coke tidied up it's identity last year, you have to wonder if it's simply a reaction to their competitors.

the work has been carried out by the arnell group(?!) and will redefine the packaging, point of sale and advertising over the coming three years.

Personally i like the new typeface, but the logo and strategy seems very dodgy. the pepsi logo was a classic piece of design. It's a very brave creative director who leads this project, I would not like to present this trashed icon in my portfolio.

Footnote: I saw an article in Marketing regarding Pepsi's rebrand and I couldn't help but laugh at the ironic serving of google ads at the foot of the page.

There is more on the rebrand over at Brand New


Scirocco Studios

I nabbed this fold out from one of the sunday papers a while ago and i can't stop looking at it. It's a curious and yet beautifully executed concept. Essentially VW have launched the Scirocco and they asked Traffic to create a moving exhibition of work related to the car.

The site is not bad, but the concept is really what appeals to me. VW have now aligned themselves with cutting edge art, film, lighting, design and craft. A car which has no real appeal is now placed at the centre of these cultural trappings. How could Guardian readers resist. The car doesn't get the hard sell. It's clearly there and the VW brand is ever present, but it's not intrusive. A perfectly pitched strategy.


Done with Facebook

You can't read a blog these days without someone telling you how to make 'social networks' work for your business. Every marketing consultant you meet is desperately trying to find some way of tapping in to networks like Facebook as a revenue stream. The truth is that it's not happening. Adverts and businesses are not welcome in these networks. You only have to look at Youtube's top rated to see how few are adverts (just 3 at the moment, i think).

Last week i logged in to my Facebook account for the first time in months, had a look round and found nothing of any interest, so decided to remove all my details, photo tags, groups and updates. No big protest, just not interested any more.

Having removed most traces of myself i was fascinated to see this article by Landor on the future of Facebook. It's the best response to the rise of 'social media' that i've seen so far

"Many of my friends have de-Faced themselves in recent months, and I predict the trend to continue. Without the social butterflies, Facebook will be left for aspiring Tory MP’s, and my uncle and his friends."


Something to help you with clients

When the client moans and sighs
Make their logo twice the size
If the client still proves refractory
Show a picture of the factory
Only in the gravest cases
Should you show the clients' faces

If the ads have gone to pot
Mention blogging quite a lot

If you want to dazzle them
Drop in terms like CRM

To make your clients think you're sage
Give campaigns a myspace page

To make them think you're clever chaps
Make references to Google Maps

If accused of strategic shirking
Bang on about social networking

If they still think the work is crap
You must present an iPhone app

(via wklondon's blog)

My coke can

Look here is my design on the coke front page. whoo. check me out.

Here is a close up of the bottle.


Tourism Austrailia - by Baz Luhrmann

This new tv spot directed by Baz Luhrmann is one of the best ads i've seen in ages. It's not often that you see such a well crafted piece of work for the tv, especially not for a tourism campaign.

This is Luhrmann's second ad. His first was for Chanel and although there is the expected cheese factor you get with fragrance campaigns, again you have to admire the art direction and atmospheric editing.

I'm no fan of his cinema work, i don't own any of his films, but clearly Luhrmann is a very accomplished director. even though i was impressed with the unique nature of his films i still find it amazing how easily and effectively he is able to transfer skills to the ad format. agency creatives take note. it's not always essential to include a smug pun, or a high brow concept. Atmosphere is just as effective in conveying a message. Stunning.


Five rebrands - but for what?

The first raft of idents for Five's latest brand update went live this week.

Since its launch in 97 the channel has been steadily moving away from its cheap, smutty image towards a more respectable and accessible channel. The rebrand is the first move from Five's new head of brand and marketing Carl Ratcliff, who came over from ad agency Lowe. Looking at the overall strategy I can't help but feel they have missed a great positioning opportunity. The BBC and Channel 4 are already well established and respected brands, so why work so hard to catch them up? Surely Five would have won more ground by taking a risk and going in the opposite direction. By embracing their cheap image they could have essentially become the TV equivalent of The Sun. Sadly the moment for this move has passed, as a million other channels have entered the market with the advent of cable, digital and satellite. It seems they will now be destined to play catch up for the foreseeable future.

Channel 5's old logos

The use of the circle in the new logo is very on trend right now, but the type has some flaws. the curves in the 'f' aren't reflected in any of the other characters. But the 'v' is the real shocker, the decision to use a leaning character, rather than using a centrally seated letter leaves a gaping hole in the type and brings attention to the wrong areas. It's also an unusual choice to use black and red in the primary palette. Black and red are not often associated with friendly and accessible organisations and creates an odd juxtaposition between the light hearted tone of voice and its delivery.

Overall it's a bit of odd update and it's not immediately clear what the benefits are. Hopefully has it continues to roll out and mature the identity will find its feet.


Typography - The movie

It's not often you see a typographic analysis on the BBC News, so it was a nice little surprise to see this feature on the bbc site. It's not exactly in depth, but the sources are good and clearly not pandering to any of the film studios.

I look forward to seeing Trevor Mcdonald's review of the latest T26 collection and Newsnight's discussion on the recent revival of slab fonts.

Creative Review takes on Barclaycard rebrand

It seems that Patrick at Creative Review has taken particular offence to Barclaycard's recent brand update (see my comments here), by launching a tongue in cheek rebrand of their own.

It comes with its own sarcasm ridden press release which includes info on 'its brand muscles', 'infonauts' and 'epicentric enablers'.

Seems Creative Review has finally found a sense of humour.

Pentagram's MAD Brand work

Two words: Or.Some.

As you might know i'm not a big fan Pentagram's work, however i'll happily take back all my snide remarks after seeing this brand work for the museum of art & design.

This is a good example of all the things i like in branding right now. it is simple, it is based on solid thinking, the rollout is creative, it is open and ecourages interaction, it is unique in its design, it is bold, it is aspirational. i love it.

lloyds face the banking crisis

as subtle as a kick in the teeth. lloyds in their usual style tackle the credit crisis with this press campaign. i don't know about you, but i'm convinced.


Fonty Fonty Font Font

Yummy. Just bought it in, for a new brand project.
It's called Progress and it's available from t26.