In January of 2011 we wrote about a new logo for 7up — the global lemon-lime soda — that was only launching in Germany at the time. It then propagated to the rest of Europe and other international markets. In the U.S., the logo hasn’t changed in decades, give or take a few gradients and bevels. The reason for the discrepancy is that 7up in the U.S. is owned and managed by Dr Pepper Snapple Group while PepsiCo runs 7up in the rest of the world. To further confuse things, although I’m sure the goal is to clarify them, PepsiCo announced last week a global campaign and refreshed visual identity designed in-house by PepsiCo’s Design and Innovation Centre, as reported by DesignWeek.
Update: The new logo and packaging were designed by New York, NY-based Sterling Brands, NOT in-house as originally reported.
Update 2: Here is the official credit line from 7up’s press liaison: “New logo and packaging was designed by PepsiCo Design & Innovation Center, with support from Sterling Brands in NYC.”
“7up believes that everyone is naturally unique and original — and they should be able to bring out their originality to keep the world fresh and diverse,” said Kristin Patrick, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo Global Beverage Brands (@kristinpatrickmusings). “There is an amazing correlation between our consumers, our product and our brand. From the exciting new visual identity, to the clear, crisp taste that can only be 7up, our brand is as unique as the people who drink it. And it’s this uniqueness that the new campaign celebrates as 7up becomes a companion to originals around the world and provides a genuine platform to share their diversity of interests.”
Rolling out in more than 140 countries, the multi-channel campaign and rejuvenated visual identity, including logo design and packaging, builds on the brand’s authentic equity and history, while staying true to its witty, naturally confident character.
It’s hard to argue against a retro-inspired logo as long as it’s done well as is the case here. The new “7” is a very nicely done “7”. It’s not perfect and perhaps it could use a tiny more flair and exaggeration in its curves but it’s definitely the best rendition of the brand in years. The “up” typography is fine, a tad distant in style to the “7” but that has typically been the case in all incarnations. I appreciate that it’s a serif when used big but it turns into a sans serif when used small, maintaining readability. As seen in the chart above it seems that PepsiCo couldn’t resist itself and had to add bubbles to the logo because fizz.
It’s always fun to see glamorous prototype shots and unglamorous real-life shots as above. The print ad shows a glass bottle with a minimal design that is more Heineken than Mountain Dew. A good thing. It looks great. The product shots taken from Tesco’s website show another reality, one where where additional ugly bubbles have invaded the packaging and a lemon and a lime have set up camp in the logo. The new tagline proclaims that it “Feels Good to be You” but when it comes to global soda packaging “It Sucks to be You” as someone, somewhere in the cog machine (design or corporate) will find a way to make it tacky.
Two global television commercials — and several digital vignettes — feature not celebrities, but truly original everyday personalities who exemplify the 7up brand. The first television creative shares the story of Magda Sayeg — a woman with knitting needles and a desire to yarn the world with her color and fresh outlook. Magda energizes a forgotten square in Santiago, Chile, where her bright, beautiful knitted creations take over a fountain, benches, trees, bicycles, a guitar and more — with 7up the companion that refreshes Magda so she can reveal her true self and flair to the world.
The new identity is being introduced via a global campaign featuring Magda Sayeg, a young, independent urban knitter-slash-yarn bomber. As weird as that may sound it’s remarkably refreshing to see 7up rely on a non-celebrity and instead associate itself with a more rebellious, artistic culture centered around actual makers. The next spot will focus on the quirky stop motion cel animations of Marty Cooper (aka Hombre McSteez). Overall, it’s a step in the right direction for 7up and if they were able to reign in the unnecessary adornments in the packaging it could be one of the nicest sodas around, although it’s too bad that there will never be a single, consistent, and defining identity for 7up because of its two mommys and daddys.