Psychology of Consumer Behaviour |

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Second Coming- Don't believe it "The vocabulary of Truth"

In Psychology of Consumer Behaviour, we talk about Just Noticeable Difference which is the minimum change in a stimulus that can be detected by a perceiver. Sometimes marketers want us to notice something, sometimes they don't.

It's not uncommon that we go to the store and buy a product that looks exactly the same as it did last week. On further examination though, it may happen that the contents of the package has been reduced ever so slightly. Over time there could be a large change, but gradual change bit by bit we don't notice.

Sometimes marketers want us to notice a change in their product by maybe updating their logo or image. Changing a big brand logo and packaging can cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Who has that these days?

Pepsi! That's what they've been up to the last few months. Now comes the story of a "leaked " 27 page design brief that outlines the thinking behind the new logo. One news story from Fast Company reports, "The design brief... suggests that, if done right, the new Pepsi logo will likely lead to The Rapture that Evangelicals promise is coming...The presentation contains visual representations of and comparisons with the following: the golden ratio, the Mona Lisa, the Parthenon, the Gutenberg Bible, the earth and its magnetic fields, and the solar system/universe."

To the left we see the changing shape of the red, blue and white design reflects 'smiley' faces in different positions.

To the right we see how the curved areas are similar in shape to the gravitational pull of the Earth.

But there's more; there's the Mona Lisa, and nautilus shells, emotive forces shaping the gestalt of the brand identity, the theory of relativity and the "Gravitational Pull of Pepsi."

Here are some highlights from the actual document.

"The investment in our DNA leads to breakthrough innovation and allows us to move out of the traditional linear system and into the future."

"The vocabulary of truth and simplicity is a reoccurring [sic] phenomena in the brand's history. It communicates the brand in a timeless manner and with an expression of clarity. Pepsi BREATHTAKING builds on this knowledge. True innovation always begins by investigating the historic path. Going back-to-the-roots moves the brand forward as it changes the trajectory of the future."

From where did this document appear? Leaked to a social networking site.

It's 2009 but more like 1835 when Benjamin Day's New York Sun ran a series of six articles that captured the nation's attention.
There was life on the moon and Sir John Herschel, well known astronomer said it was so. The moon was full of bison, goats, unicorns, and bat winged humanoids who built temples. People couldn't wait for the next edition. Using the grandiose scientific language of the time, the story was so popular that it was reprinted and circulated in both local and national papers.

After the story had its desired effect, it was revealed as a hoax. The great Moon Hoax of 1835 had done its job: increased buzz buzz.

Methinks, we've been hoodwinked, bamboozled by Pepsi

....but then while reading the documents from the New York Sun I see mention of, "the vocabulary of truth and simplicity" and oh my God is that a bat winged humanoid holding a can......wait is it? it?... the new Pepsi logo?

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