- Pepsi today revealed a new tagline, "That's What I Like," that will appear across advertisements and promotions for its Pepsi, Pepsi Zero Sugar and Diet Pepsi brands indefinitely, according to details shared with Marketing Dive. The news marks the soft drink giant's first permanent U.S. tagline in two decades, following previous iterations like "The Choice of the New Generation" and "The Joy of Cola."
- "That's What I Like" was informed by "broad qualitative and quantitative research," according to Joe McHugh, Pepsi's senior director of insights and analytics, and seeks to embody how loyal Pepsi drinkers proudly espouse what they like and how they live their lives.
- Pepsi is promoting the tagline in what VP of Marketing Todd Kaplan described as a "music-forward" campaign featuring five new TV spots that touch across hip-hop, Latin pop and more genres. The ads include "Glow Up" and "Fade Away," developed with Goodby Silverstein & Partners, and "DJ BBQ," "Subway" and "La Lavandería," created with agency Alma. Some of the commercials will air this weekend during the NFL Wild Card games and Golden Globes, with additional activations running on social media, out-of-home, retail and digital channels.
Pepsi introducing a new permanent U.S. tagline signals that the marketer will continue to focus on strengthening its core brands' positioning as the company heads into a new decade. In recent years, Pepsi has employed a more seasonal approach to taglines, frequently swapping in new ones based on particular themes or events, such as a "Gift it Forward" campaign around the holidays, per Ad Age.
The 2010s proved an often rocky period for the drink giant and key rivals like Coca-Cola as consumer tastes shifted from soda toward lower-sugar alternatives. But parent company PepsiCo in the past few years re-upped its investments in media and advertising, a change that appeared to bolster the bottom line and improve customer loyalty.
Returning to an indefinite tagline — in some ways a tactic emblematic of old-school marketing — demonstrates that Pepsi is looking at longer-term brand-building initiatives to continue this momentum. Informed by qualitative and quantities research, "That's What I Like" additionally extends creative themes Pepsi has made more prominent in its advertising to broaden appeal with multicultural consumers and elusive young demographics like millennials. The TV spots supporting the tagline hone in on diverse music genres, including Latin pop.
Others in the packaged food and beverage category, such as Kraft Heinz and Coke, have made moves that also seem reactive to an era of marketing that was often defined by short-term, performance-oriented strategies and business pressures amplified by cost-cutting. At the close of 2019, Coke announced it was reinstating a global CMO position in a bid to better unify marketing and operations. Just two years prior, the company eliminated the role and shifted duties to a chief growth officer, Francisco Crespo, who is retiring later this year.
At the time, Coke's sunsetting of the CMO in favor of a growth officer was seen as a big indicator that traditional marketing roles were in peril, or at least needed to evolve to properly master digital transformation. PepsiCo has tweaked its marketing leadership structure in the past few months, and late last year saw the departure of CMO of global beverages Roberto Rios, who left for Schwan's Company.