BBDO and Tropicana brighten up one of Canada's darkest places

Posted on Thu Mar 4 2010

Americans in the lower 48 states who experience seasonal affective disorder might be interested in the latest doings from Tropicana in Canada. In January, the Pepsi brand and its agency, BBDO Toronto, visited the northern town of Inuvik in the Northwest Territories, which experiences weeks of darkness during the depths of winter, and brought the sun—or actually, an artificial, electric-lit facsimile of the sun—to incredulous, grateful residents. Footage from the event is being used in a campaign breaking this week in Canada that's built around the theme, "Brighter mornings for brighter days." Though the stunt is a bit reminiscent of Juan Cabral and Fallon's Cristo-esque work in Europe, it seems a better positioning than what Tropicana has going in the U.S., which might be summed up as "Weirder packaging for confused consumers."

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Hey look, it's a package design by Peter Arnell that doesn't suck

Posted on Wed Apr 29 2009


Not all of Peter Arnell's designs are bad. The ad-agency head took some serious heat earlier this year for creating the new, and subsequently killed, Tropicana packaging. At the time of its launch, PepsiCo North America president Massimo d'Amore joked, at a Tropicana press conference, "Peter thinks he is Michelangelo." Yes, Michelangelo if he had plummeted from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel while painting his masterpiece. Still, Arnell's SoBe Lifewater packaging is pretty inspired. It features the brand mascot Lee the Lizard. His tail wraps around the bottle, squeezing it. Wherever his tail lies, there are grooves that allow the bottle to fit snuggly in your hand. The new look is original, which was important for this growing enhanced-water brand. Prior to the repackaging, virtually every player used a knockoff of the Vitaminwater bottle. So much so that the Coca-Cola-owned brand sued a number of competitors and won. SoBe's bottle aims to look the least like Vitaminwater as possible as it works to forge its own identity. If Tropicana proved anything, it's that repackaging efforts can have a powerful effect—for good or bad.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Arnell Group gingerly rolls out Sedgwick ad campaign for Trop50

Posted on Mon Mar 23 2009


The O.J. executives at PepsiCo have announced their first big campaign for the Tropicana brand since jettisoning (and subsequently unjettisoning) the beloved straw-in-the-orange package design. This time around, the work is for newer sibling Trop50, which has 50 percent fewer calories and contains the all-natural sweetener Stevia. Kyra Sedgwick (a 2007 Golden Globe winner for best actress for The Closer) stars in a new TV and print campaign launching today from (who else?) The Arnell Group. (See a larger version of this ad here.) Those who actually liked the ditched redesign for Tropicana Pure Premium will be happy: The despised design still appears in the ads. Upon announcing its plans to go back to the old straw-in-the-orange look, Tropicana executives said they will continue to run ads featuring the now infamous Arnell redesign. Let's hope we don't have another huge ruckus.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

PepsiCo completely screws up Tropicana, then admits it

Posted on Mon Feb 23 2009


PepsiCo is off to a rocky start with the Arnell Group. First, a seemingly ridiculous brief bearing an overwrought justification of the new Pepsi/Obama logo was leaked. Now, PepsiCo has said it will revert Tropicana back to its old packaging because people absolutely hated it. The packaging, which was triumphed by Peter Arnell, was deemed too confusing and too much like some regular ole’ generic store brand. This led one design agency executive to comment offhand and off-the-record: “Well, that’s what you get when you let an ad agency attempt package design.” Even the New York Times teed off on Tropicana likening it to New Coke. Ouch!

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

PepsiCo products suddenly become a whole lot harder to spot

Posted on Thu Jan 8 2009

Tropicana-125 copy

A trip to the grocery store can be confusing these days for anyone looking for Pepsi, Gatorade or Tropicana. Each of those PepsiCo products has been radically repackaged within the same month.
  The idea is to give the sluggish beverage segment a boost. Today, Tropicana announced its new packaging and ad campaign. (I'm a fan of the new look, considering the last time they repackaged the brand, the gallon jugs looked so much like laundry detergent that I accidentally placed one next to my washing machine.) Pepsi is now almost unrecognizable with its new, sleek, dark-blue packaging and Obama logo—introduced with ads on New Year's Eve. And Gatorade is now just "G." Not that they're letting anyone know this. Teaser ads, featuring a variety of athletes (hats off for including autistic basketball star Jason McElwain), make no mention of what G is.
  Fans of Gatorade line extensions Fierce, X-Factor and AM will be scratching their heads even harder. Those brands have been renamed Bring It, Be Tough and Shine On, respectively. Not sure how they'll explain that to the kid searching aimlessly for his Fierce Grape.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein



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