Diet soda has always had a tough balancing act: How to convince consumers who care about a diet to buy something synonymous with bad-for-you sugariness? Yet, in a Nutrisweet, Equal, Splenda haze, they did it, becoming the non-alcoholic drink du jour for college girls, the Sex and the City ladies, and women's magazine editors. But as bottled water continues its world dominance, diet soda has decided it’s time to play dirty to keep its hold on the market. Enter the new Diet Pepsi, housed in what the soft drink giant is calling a skinny can. Says Pepsi: "Our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today's most stylish looks." The can is also being described as a "celebration of beautiful, confident women."
Were they trying to upset people? Like the ones at the National Eating Disorders association, who released a press release that said this description of the new can is “both thoughtless and irresponsible” and went on to say the campaign is “offensive.”
Or have the Pepsi people been watching too much Mad Men? Do they think we’re so gullible as consumers to believe happiness and confidence can be achieved through a narrow can of faux caramel syrup? Chances are skinny Pepsi will sell just as well as the fat, squat Pepsi, considering they didn’t tinker with the winning recipe. But if there’s any karma in advertising, we can only hope such blatant patronizing sexism takes them down the New Coke (and Cherry Coke) road to obscurity.