Update: Diet Pepsi Max

Pepsi has redesigned the packaging for Diet Pepsi Max, which we first reviewed in June 2007.

Diet Pepsi Max

Diet Pepsi Max – 2008 Redesign

Even though the brand got some attention with a Super Bowl commercial, the redesigned look puts a larger emphasis on the word “Max”, less so on Diet Pepsi. Also gone is the tagline “Invigorating Cola” and in its place… “Gingeng + Caffeine”.

This is a smart move for Pepsi, in my opinion, as it helps the drink to really stand out. It needs to move beyond the realm of being a Diet Pepsi subbrand (which is odd anyway, since the formula is completely different, and frankly, better!)

In fact, this is what Coke did with Coke Zero… they have the Coke brand, the Diet Coke brand, and the Coke Zero brand (the “red/black/silver” strategy). Granted, it took them a couple tries to launch Zero correctly, and that may be the case with Diet Pepsi Max.

Diet Pepsi Max

Previous 2007 design

Along those lines is word that Pepsi will be renaming the beverage simply to “Pepsi Max” as part of their repositioning of products (and probably related to their massive losses this year.)

The Max brand is pretty much a no-brainer, as Pepsi already uses it around the world for their non-Pepsi/non-Diet Pepsi alternative line. They probably thought they could help launch it in the U.S. by tying it to Diet Pepsi, but that may have hurt it more than helped it. (One wonders what will happen to the oft-forgotten Pepsi One brand… I say just kill it already!)

Diet Pepsi Max

With the redesign of the packaging on Diet Pepsi Max, it harkens back to the Diet Sprite/Diet Sprite Zero/Sprite Zero change that took place 2004-2006. Each iteration of the packaging change was setting the table for the next name. With the new look on Diet Pepsi Max, you can almost envision how easy it would be to remove the “Diet Pepsi” part and still have the brand strongly represented.

Pepsi needs to push Pepsi Max hard as their Coke Zero competitor. Coke has a huge advantage in this area (Zero has been doing great), and Pepsi has really botched the marketing and rollout of this drink, but if they want to see a product that maybe will help their declining carbonated soft drink sales in the long run, they need to get behind Max in a hurry.