Super Bowl Commercial: Pepsi Max – “I’m Good”

What’s the Super Bowl without commercials? And what’s an update on without a look at the beverage-related spots broadcast during Super Bowl XLIII?

Brand: Pepsi Max
Title: “I’m Good”
Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day

It’s funny how much a brand and product can change in just a few years. Case in point, Pepsi Max, the new name of Diet Pepsi Max. Let’s take a look at the past, shall we?

In February 2007, Diet Pepsi Max was announced as an “Invigorating Zero-Calorie Cola”. It hit the shelves in June 2007 still playing off the increased caffeine and ginseng that were part of the product.

We reviewed it and liked it quite a bit, but felt that the positioning of the product was clouded and confusing. This was especially noted when comparing ingredients, as it Diet Pepsi Max really didn’t have much in common with Diet Pepsi, especially when it came to artificial sweeteners used. (It had more in common with Coke Zero rather than Diet Pepsi).

Then Pepsi coughed up the big bucks in February 2008 with a Super Bowl commercial for Diet Pepsi Max. With the tagline of “Wake Up People”, Pepsi again tried to push the stimulant component of the beverage. But guess what? That wasn’t really working. Around mid 2008, the label design was changed for the beverage, putting a stronger emphasis on the word “Max”… and a lot less on the “Diet Pepsi” part. (To which we said… “duh!”) They even went as far as to digitally alter the Super Bowl commercial with the new logo for later viewing.

Then Pepsi’s 3rd Quarter sales numbers were released… and they were not good. A reboot of many of PepsiCo’s beverage lines was announced… including both new logos and new names.

One of the most drastic changes was to Diet Pepsi Max, which was rebranded as simply Pepsi Max. And as much as I hate to say it, Pepsi can learn a lot of Coke here, since Coke has basically laid out three pillars of their carbonated soft drink growth… Coke, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero. Pepsi Max is Pepsi’s answer to Zero, but they’ve never marketed it correctly to grow the market. It’s been hobbled by the “diet” moniker for so long.

Even so, I’m not so sure the new direction — diet drink for men — is going to resonate with a ton of success. It’s a step in the right directly, but it also risks alienating a large part of the female audience. Still, isn’t it interesting that the new color scheme of Pepsi Max is black… just like Coke Zero?