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Pepsi unveils its first tagline in 20 years: ‘That’s what I like’

Vice-president of marketing Todd Kaplan on how the new line embodies Pepsi drinkers.

Pepsi unveils its first tagline in 20 years: ‘That’s what I like’

It looks like “More Than OK” and Cardi B’s “Okurrr” will have to step aside. Pepsi is launching a new brand campaign this month, featuring its first new tagline in the United States in about two decades: “That’s What I Like.”

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Get ready to hear this across all Pepsi, Pepsi Zero Sugar, and Diet Pepsi ads and promotions—indefinitely.

“Pepsi drinkers are comfortable in their own skin, they enjoy their life unapologetically without really worrying about what other people think,” says Pepsi’s VP of marketing, Todd Kaplan, who feels like the line embodies what company research has told them about their customers. “Pepsi drinkers are three times more likely to belt out a song on karaoke or nearly twice as likely to clap at the end of the movie.”

The new tagline, Kaplan believes, is a simple, “clean, crisp articulation of that.”

Along with the new line comes a slate of new spots, set to debut during the Golden Globes and NFL wild-card playoff games. Created with the agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the ads embrace that whole dance-like-nobody’s-watching ethos. It’s a departure from the ongoing celebrity ads that the cola giant started airing last January, all the way through November with Cardi B’s holiday tale.

Tag, you’re it

Taglines are one of the stranger aspects of advertising. They’re largely pointless—until they’re not. The ones we remember are few and far between: “Just Do It.” “Think Different.” “Finger Lickin’ Good.” The rest? They disappear into the ether of commercial history.

Given the odds, the safe bet here is the latter, as “That’s What I Like” is about as ambiguous and noncommittal as it gets while still easily fitting on a poster. Then again, that worked for McDonald’s and “I’m Lovin’ It.”

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Either way, with the benefit of hindsight, we can all agree that “That’s What I Like” still beats the brand’s 1950s-era tag: “Any Weather’s Pepsi Weather!”

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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