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The Emperor’s New Logo


Branding can be a shifty enterprise. It deals in abstracts, and it can take decades to unravel whether something was a brilliant idea or just a brilliant pitch—and for the most part, no one can tell the difference.

All of which goes a long way towards explaining someone like Peter Arnell.

He’s been behind some of the more iconic images in recent memory—DKNY’s Houston St mural, ConEdison’s redesigned trucks, and the curvy new Pepsi logo—along with some of the biggest tantrums in the business, but after a disastrous Tropicana redesign, the sharks are circling. And suddenly, people are using the word “huckster” an awful lot…

We examine Mr. Arnell indepth»

Marketing the Void


Advertising tends to traffic in generically comforting scenes—a sun-dappled Dr. Pepper-equipped picnic, for instance—but you can’t stay on the bright side forever, and occasionally things get genuinely dark. Usually in Germany.

This ad, from Berlin’s BBDO, emphasizes Pepsi Max’s one calorie by illustrating the bleak, soul-deadening isolation of the one remaining calorie. (The caption reads, “One very very very lonely calorie.”) By printing the ad on what looks like the outside of a paper bag, they also manage to pin down the “eccentric loner” demographic, something Pepsi usually struggles with.

We assume it’s the same firm that brought you the Home Depot slogan: “Because she’s never coming back.”

Pepsi Rejects

  • Jared Paul Stern


Feast your eyes on this clownish couple, but be forewarned before clicking to enlarge the picture: they're so plastered with logos we got acute conjunctivitis just looking at 'em. Underneath all the claptrap you might recognize NASCAR nuggins Jeff Gordon (right), and a certain Mr. Pharrell Williams, who has won the adulation of the style set despite the fact that he dresses like an 11-year-old Japanese kid with ADD and way too much disposable income.

The painful-to-look-upon pair posed the other night at a Hollywood party for the Pepsi 500, the yearly race held at the end of the NASCAR season at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Despite the similar getups they were not in fact there as a couple; Gordon was accompanied by his hot model/actress wife Ingrid Vandebosch. At least he has good taste in something.