Pepsi-Cola World

Isa Arif
Isa Arif
Oct 18, 2017 · 4 min read

Pepsi-Cola World is a monthly magazine distributed to Pepsi-Cola bottling plants across the U.S. Pepsi-Cola World changed the way in which publications communicated with their employees. Pepsi-Cola World’s role was to promote consistency, spread the corporate message and inspire company loyalty.

In the 1930’s, Pepsi had been distributing in some regions with recycled Beer Bottles pasted with makeshift labels. From the 1950’s onward Pepsi became increasingly style conscious. The drive behind Pepsi’s 1950’s marketing efforts came from the company's new president. Alfred Nu Steele took over the company at a very difficult and declining time. Between 1950 and his death in 1959, Pepsi's profits had tripped. His strategy was to enter local markets and businesses region by region and advertise aggressively. Alfred Nu Steele was known to be a vibrant and colourful man as he was rumoured to have once owned a circus. Alfred Nu Steele was more involved with promotional activity than any of the company’s predecessors. Alfred Nu Steele recognised that a fizzy drink is just sugar mixed with water until you create an image.

Pepsi-Cola World was designed by the design firm of Brownjohn, Chermayeff, and Geismar (BCG) The cover designs and proposals however were heavily credited to Robert Brownjohn, who was well known for his witty design style. Pepsi-Cola World was one of Brownjohn, Chermayeff and Geismar’s first regular clients. The job earned them enough to allocate to a new and bigger premises as well as employing more staff. The Magazine earned the design firm numerous awards and the recognition of corporate company’s.

Robert Brownjohn was also commissioned by Pepsi to create an enormous Christmas ribbon sculpture which would be displayed in the glass walled lobby of Pepsi-Cola headquarters on Park Avenue and 57th street New York.

Pepsi-Cola World was a monthly publication of witty attention grabbing covers with neat and sophisticated business like interiors. Each cover was designed uniquely to their dedicated month, playing with seasonal and timely themes, each issue would give a reflection of the month ahead. Each cover would include the iconic Pepsi Bottle-Cap as a visual symbol and identity to represent the brand. The uniquely designed covers were also used to picture an event at which A Pepsi might be enjoyed. Pepsi’s strap line at the time was ‘Be Sociable. Have a Pepsi’. The different covers included the month of April showering Bottle-Caps as rain on an umbrella. Celebrating Valentines day in February with the love of Pepsi. Watching a Football game in October with a Cold Bottle by your side.

From 1957 to 1959 Pepsi-Cola World was commercially at its peak, the magazines portrayed a wholesome vision of America, reflected with nostalgia, freedom, love and happiness.

The designers experimented with more upscale iterations of the Pepsi brand. The scripted ‘P’ in New York’s Park Avenue was replaced with the ‘P’ typeface from Pepsi’s brand. The success of their witty visual style demonstrated on Pepsi-Cola World magazines gave BCG the idea of using this approach more appropriately for a corporate and more main stream audience. The success of Pepsi-Cola World was responsible for increasing the agency’s popularity and business, later attracting clients such as the broadcasting network NBC.

Unfortunately by the end of the 1950’s Brownjohn’s drug addiction had made him too unreliable. Chermayeff and Geismar had to ask their friend to leave the firm. The Pepsi account was taken over by Brownjohn, Chermayeff and Geismars former assistants, Stanley Elseman and David Enock, who seamlessly continued the studios witty work.

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