Pepsi recently released the new ‘skinny can’ to package their zero-calorie diet version, and in doing so has created a media shitstorm. Although the concept of a slimmer can seems innocent enough, it is far from new, and Pepsi’s timing and marketing might have stepped on a few well-painted toes.
Unveiled at New York’s Fall 2011 Fashion Week, the skinny can is said to celebrate “beautiful, confident women.” Oops. What Pepsi obviously failed to take into account, is that once you tie-in confidence to body image — in this case ‘slim is better’ — trouble will surely follow. Especially when said product is nothing but a gateway beverage to the HFCS-laden flagship product — which we’re sure has never helped anyone’s body type.
But as the packaging gurus at Box Vox point out, the slim can concept is nothing new — even when it’s directly associated with body image. In some cases even blatantly trying to emulate the seemingly ideal waistline, or to imply that the slim packaging will eventually apply to your own figure.
There is no doubt that there’s a bit of hypersensitivity in regards to the issue of self image, but Pepsi’s marketing and timing was questionable. Perhaps they should have went the environmental route and marketed the slimmer design as a more sustainable one. One thing we’ve learned, is that when in doubt, at least try to feign concern for environment. It’ll certainly piss off less people.
[thanks Box Vox]