Pepsi: Thin is In

Thin is in at New York Fashion Week this month – but this time we can’t blame the fashion industry.

Pepsi is releasing a “slim, attractive new can” that is the “perfect compliment to today’s most stylish looks”, according to Jill Beraud, chief marketing officer, Pepsi.

But Pepsi doesn’t stop there. The company is calling the “taller, sassier new Skinny Can” of Diet Pepsi a “celebration of beautiful, confident women.”

I interpret this to mean “Skinny is sexy. To be beautiful or confident you must be taller and thinner than the competition.”  Congratulations, Pepsi, on your wonderful and empowering message.  While the brand was previously known for its fun ads, often featuring celebrities, it will now be remembered as the company who gave the average soda can a body image complex.

I’m not sure what their PR team was thinking, but there’s no way this will be a positive move for the company.  Obviously changing the look of the soda can is one of the only ways the brand could reinvent itself, and the move to a tall, skinny can is just fine.  However, it’s the questionable messaging that turned this from a marketing boon to a PR fail.