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Pepsi proves it goes better with rum than Coke in latest hidden logo ads

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By Audrey Kemp | LA reporter

July 27, 2023 | 5 min read

Ahead of National Rum Month in August, Pepsi has reignited the cola wars with the latest installment of its ‘Better with Pepsi’ campaign.

pepsi wild posting

The campaign includes wild postings in several major US cities / Credit: PepsiCo

A summertime staple for over a century, the rum and cola cocktail has – much to the chagrin of Pepsi marketers – long been associated with Coke. Pepsi’s latest campaign aims to amend this truth.

In honor of National Rum Month in August, Pepsi has today revealed a multichannel campaign pairing the soda with various rum brands. The campaign comes as a recent consumer survey from Pepsi found that 56% of participants preferred the flavors of a rum and Pepsi cocktail over a rum and Coke.

“For far too long, people have gotten the bar call wrong when ordering the world’s most popular rum cocktail – quite often people order ‘rum and Coke’ out of conformity rather than taste preference, as our data shows that people actually prefer the taste of rum and Pepsi,” said Todd Kaplan, chief marketing officer of Pepsi. “We have known for years that the sweet and delicious taste profile of Pepsi pairs perfectly with the taste of rum.”

The work marks the latest iteration of the brand’s ongoing ‘Better with Pepsi’ campaign, which has emphasized the pairing of Pepsi with different food items since its inception in May 2021. Other activations within the campaign have included the creation of a Pepsi-based condiment called ’Cola-chup,’ the brand’s own restaurant called ’Pep’s place’ and spotting the Pepsi logo in crumpled burger wrappers.

Pepsi billboards

Creative agency Alma is behind the campaign, with its resident origami artist Raya Sader manipulating by hand various rum brand labels and napkins, from Captain Morgan to Bacardi, to create the Pepsi globe logo within them. No artificial intelligence or other digital tools were used to produce the photos.

The campaign rolls out today across print publications, out-of-home throughout Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans and New York City, and on social media and digital platforms.

As Kaplan tells The Drum, the campaign represents a “final toast“ to Pepsi’s current logo before the brand segues into its new visual identity, which the brand revealed earlier this year.

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For consumers who want to try the cocktail for themselves, Pepsi is offering up to $5 off rum and Pepsi orders made on the alcohol delivery app Drizly.

Although the current logo will be retired by August, Kaplan says Pepsi has many plans in its creative pipeline that include both its new logo and the ‘Better with Pepsi’ brand platform.

“‘Better with Pepsi’ is only growing in its strategic importance to us and where we will be in the future for this brand,“ he adds. “We’ll have a lot more executions in the coming years, talking about Pepsi’s importance with food and even beyond.“

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