Monday, December 19, 2011

Pepsi to Change Can Design 
A Florida Guard colleague and terrific soldier, SSG Rolando Martinez, made the media big leagues when he noticed something interesting about the Diet Pepsi can design in Iraq.

The backstory is this: There is a whole subversive element in Middle Eastern marketing and branding, where product designers will take very subtle digs at the West. Call them Muslim "dog whistles" if you will.

I've seen Iraqis openly selling gifts in their markets commemorating the 9/11 attacks. One example I saw was a cigarette lighter that contained a depiction of a jet flying into two office towers, and a red LED that lit up at the point of impact when you used the lighter. It was in cast metal. So somewhere someone had set up a small factory making these things.

I think there's room for plausible denial on this specific can. It's certainly not the only modernist depiction of a skyline. All that's missing is the "Atomic" symbol!

Now, here's my question for Pepsi: What? American design firms can't design your can? You went cheap and went for the foreign outsourcing.

But even assuming the best of the South African design firm, an American marketing agency likely would not have made a design so evocative of 9/11.

Hope you enjoyed the little bit of money you saved by sending the American job overseas.

Splash, out


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