I recently came across this old print ad for Pepsi X Energy, and I was surprised that Pepsi would want to be associated with the images portrayed above. I recognize Pepsi was trying to create a memorable, humorous message that the energy drink’s target market (college-aged students) can relate to; however, pictures of drunk, passed-out, young adults at parties should not be an image the company wants to be attached to.
Is the ad memorable? Yes. Is it funny? Perhaps to some. Is it tasteful? No. Is it incredibly creative? Not really. Although the Pepsi X Energy “Don’t sleep at the party” ad may be memorable, I don’t think it’s unforgettable in a good way. Developing a brand message that caters to your target market is important, but it’s safe to say that if my grandpa saw this ad, he would be sickened, and his view of Pepsi as a whole would be tarnished. Yes, I have peers who would find this ad funny and relate to the message, but I think it’s offensive to more people than not. A classier representation of “don’t sleep at the party” could, in my opinion, have been wittier and less insulting.
The message portrayed in the ad is not one I would want to be connected to if I were Pepsi. Maybe that’s why the product wasn’t successful. What are your thoughts? Am I overreacting? Is the ad in fact memorable in a good way?