Coca-Cola’s design director Moira Cullen talks about the role of Turner Duckworth in bringing the famous brand identity back to basics.

Via @goodpeopletweet — a follow-worthy Twitter profile.

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September 10, 2010


How on earth does it look like Pepsi?

Pepsi is blue for a start!!!

Coca Cola came first, Pepsi copied it. This looks more like the original Coca Cola design, which fits in with the proposition ‘The Real Thing’ aka ‘the original’.

Dear Lee Newham, if you would have read my comment in it’s entirety you would have found that I am talking about the design direction and the identity declination, which means: fewer details, all about simplicity, no more gradients and other effects. Back to the basics. A step firstly done by Pepsi.

I am not talking about colors, fonts or copy.

I am a Coca-Cola man myself and I’ve studied the Pepsi-Coke phenomenon. However to me it seems they’re more into the same pot than ever.

They are incredibly similar, essentially exchangeable products; seeing them marketed similarly, and seeing said marketing trend in the same direction is no surprise. Re-using a song from a direct competitors commercial though? That seems questionable, but maybe coke thinks it can just absorb and pepsi related goodwill by remaking pepsi ads with coke logos? Thanks for that Matei Tudor.

Thanks for clearing that up Matei, it was rather unclear.

I fond some of these comments about this strange. Is going back to your origins, distilling a brand to it’s core values, making something simple a trend?

It’s just good design isn’t it?

Turner Duckworth have got rid of all the clutter and crap that Coca Cola added over the years. They did it as well as anyone could have. Frankly I don’t care if Pepsi used the same song once. I didn’t even know and I certainly didn’t associate that song with Pepsi (and neither did any of the other designers on the jury when I voted for it to win a design award a few years ago).

It’s a great job for the worlds biggest brand (yes, if you want to be über pedantic, then some charts say Google, if, I know, I know!!).

This raises another question about trends in branding. How many people have to do a similar thing before it’s a trend? Aren’t most trends around permanently, like ‘witty packaging or advertising’. And if something is a trend, should we not avoid it, especially in branding?

Interesting debate going on here in regards to Coca-Cola going back to basics.

In my opinion I think it really helps to consolidate the brand as a whole.

I too don’t care if Pepsi used similar art direction and yes I know they are in direct competition with each other but I don’ think this dilutes the Coca-Cola brand at all.

I like it.

Dear Andy.
I agree with having a brand coherence, believe me, I do. It’s what any ad agency or marketing department from any company strives to achieve. And if we take the whole Pepsi similarity, the good people from Turner Duckworth have done a wonderful job.

Love the new signage, the attention to detail, the clever little ways they brought the bottle in the center of attention. Absolutely love it.

I was just an avid reader and watcher of this Coke-Pepsi phenomenon for a lot of years now (I’m 22 so I don’t know if my opinions are that rooted into actual experience), saw documentaries and discussions, etc.

Pepsi was considered a poor man’s alternative to Coke back in the day. It then gained popularity with the youth and it stayed like that. Coke had the heritage, it had the acquired taste (there is a difference), it had the tradition and it had loyalty in it’s consumers (I still think it has those things ’till this day).

But I remain at my first impression that they’re much too close and that creates a monotony I hate in brands. I want to attach myself to a set of philosophies, stand out, pick a side, not to blend in with everybody in the same pot.

I am sorry if the post seems harsh, it’s not intended that way. It’s just an opinion from an ad man.

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