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Pepsi's Clever Visual Trick Reclaims Its Place Beside Rum

Jul 17, 2023

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Pepsi and agency Alma received industry accolades for the 2021 “Better With Pepsi” campaign, which uncovered the brand’s logo in the crumpled folds of burger wrappers from fast-food chains that don’t even serve the soft drink. The latest iteration shows Pepsi’s logo hiding in plain sight in Captain Morgan and Bacardi branding, encouraging drinkers to rethink their rum and Coke order.

While the previous chapter made the point that Pepsi is a better pairing with burgers than that other cola, the brand’s new visual trick challenges the “default” cocktail combination made with a rum and Coca-Cola, said Pepsi chief marketing officer Todd Kaplan. The campaign coincides with National Rum Month in August.

Paper artist Raya Sader Bujana, who worked on the original burger wrapper ads, found and photographed the Pepsi globe symbol in cocktail napkins and rum bottle labels crinkled by cold water.

“We’ve seen a lot of success connecting our Better With Pepsi efforts with food occasions for real consumers, which is the goal,” Kaplan told Adweek. “But as we looked at the food and beverage landscape, we understood that cola isn’t just for food pairing, and we could explore territory through a much wider lens.”

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The imagery appears in print and out-of-home placements near bars, beaches and liquor stores in key rum markets such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans and New York. The campaign also incorporates search engine optimization and social media activity.

Shoppers who order rum and any Pepsi product through delivery platform Drizly from July 27 to Aug. 17 can use the code #BetterWithPepsi to receive free delivery and $5 off their order.

“A big goal of this campaign was not just to elevate the awareness of #RumAndPepsi as the optimal cocktail combination, but also to get consumers to try one for themselves,” Kaplan said. “Drizly has the scale and operational flexibility that gives us the necessary reach to meet consumers where they are and encourage them to try a Pepsi with their rum no matter what the occasion.”

Samantha Nelson is a freelance writer for Adweek.

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