The other day, a friend working in the web design business sent me an email telling me to check out the strange PDF that "explains" the new Pepsi logo.
This PDF is supposed to be the designer's pitch to the makers of Pepsi. What is getting peoples attention is just how ridiculous the in-depth pitch is.
The document is a 27 page PDF that compares the new pepsi logo to such things as various emoticons and the Mona Lisa. It breaks down the past pepsi designs into tons of tiny circles and relates them to the new logo. It even explains the Pepsi planet, solar system, and universe.
Now, I've seen design pitches before that are similarly thorough, but this struck me as contrived from the first time I looked at it. I started thinking, this is just too silly. Aside from being ridiculous, it doesn't really explain anything about the design decisions and the desired affect on people receiving the product.
As it turns out, other bloggers and journalists are feeling the same way. What was once thought to be a "leaked" design pitch is now being called viral marketing campaign.
As a person with an interest in advertising, my first reaction was that if it is a marketing campaign, their marketing people are awesome. They're marketing a PDF that takes a jab at marketing. Even better, they're delivering it directly the digitial generation, most of whom believe they are above the reach of formal advertising. What's more, the people distributing the document believe they're "in" on pointing out the obsurdity of the behind the scenes of advertising. In the end though, the jokes on them. They're doing exactly what Pepsi wants. It's brilliant. It's like the mouse outsmarted the cat, and now the cat's back for revenge.
The document hasn't been denied or confirmed to be fake as of yet. There's always the case that it actually isn't fake. If that's the case, I just thought way too into it!