Nearly 40 years on Pepsi is still in search of a decent campaign – Beyonce or no Beyonce

Why, despite spending gazillions on ads, can’t Pepsi ever come up with a campaign?

Its latest big thing is Beyonce (nothing personal dear) and here she is in a new ad for Pepsi Max called ‘Mirrors’ from 180LA.

And what words of wisdom does it have for us? “Embrace your past but live for now.” Oh, all right then.

Actually it did once produce a campaign, in the UK at least – ‘Lipsmackin’ Pepsi Cola.’ from the great BMP (which became DDB and was never quite as good).

But this was nearly 40 years ago.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.


  1. The original “Lipsmackin’ thirstquenchin’ acetastin’ motivatin’ goodbuzzin’ cooltalkin’ highwalkin’ fastlivin’ evergivin’ coolfizzin’ Pepsi” was produced by CPV (Colman Prentis and Varley) in 1970.

    I remember buying the airtime!

  2. Are you sure Andy?

  3. Stephen…
    As I say on AdScam, the spot reminds me of a ten year old MTV video. Particularly the smashing mirror – Yawn – That’s what you get when you hire a “Global Brand Ambassador” for a mere $50 million! And the agency responsible for this masterpiece is 180 LA, who seem to have an awwwesome talent for producing work that looks like it was all done with the same bling encrusted cookie cutter. As usual, all the ad trades here think it is fucking awwwesome!

  4. Surely ‘Lipsmackin’…’ was by Dave Trott at BMP in 1974…

  5. Stephen,
    The 1970 CPV campaign was most definitely “Lipsmackin'”. It may even have been an American film, but it was much more “rock-and-roll” than Coke’s corny teaching the world to sing!
    Schweppes were the client at the time, and the account moved to BMP along with Cresta when they came up with the Cresta Bear.
    I’ll ask some old colleagues if they remember who the creative team were.

  6. Doh! – well, it was long ago and there was a lot happening at the time! It seems my selective memory has adopted BMP’s superior campaign.
    The CPV one was “we’ve got Pepsi – we’ve got life”.
    Sorry Trotty!