Pepsi unveils marketing strategy to celebrate its 125th birthday

By our News Team | 2023

New logo and packaging design, a pop-up New York City diner, increased content marketing, and new commercials are all part of the fun.

One of the world’s most iconic brands, Pepsi, recently kicked off celebrations of its 125th birthday with 125 days of activities and promotions focused on its home market of the US.


Among the marketing activities planned as Pepsi enters its next era is the unveiling of a new logo and packaging design. There is also a special focus on sports, music and entertainment – areas where it has targeted much of its brand building in recent years.

Brand Valuation

Photo courtesy of Pepsi


The Pepsi journey began in 1898 in New Bern, a riverfront town in North Carolina, where pharmacist Caleb Bradham renamed ‘Brad’s Drink’, his popular non-alcoholic digestif, ‘Pepsi-Cola’.


The rest, as they say, is history. Today Pepsi has evolved into PepsiCo – a multinational company with a range of brands such as Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. 


It generated more than US$86-billion in net revenue in 2022 and has a presence in more than 200 countries and territories.


“We want a nod back and a leap forward,” Pepsi CMO, Todd Kaplan, explained in an interview with the website, Marketing Dive. “Similarly, we want to recognise and celebrate 125 years as a major milestone for any brand.”


Designed to entice new brand loyalists


While the birthday campaign will be very relevant to existing Pepsi fans, it’s also designed to bring new loyalists into the fold, Kaplan said. This includes more focus on low-sugar and sugar-free product offerings.


“As we look forward, all the consumer trends are pointing toward zero sugar. That is a huge, growing category,” he told Marketing Dive. “We want to get as many people to try it as possible.”


Among the marketing activities is a pop-up ‘Pepsi 125 Diner’ that will operate in the heart of New York City from 19-25 October. 


Attendees can book seats in two-hour slots, with tickets starting at US$50 per person. This includes a three-course meal, complimentary Pepsi beverages and cocktails, and a front-row seat for an immersive Pepsi experience.


There will also be various competitions and rollout of a new series of commercials, increased PR and content marketing, and a special edition of People magazine dedicated entirely to the Pepsi brand.


“Experiential marketing is definitely having a comeback,” said Kaplan. “The diner ties into a ‘Better with Pepsi’ platform introduced in 2021 that touts Pepsi as the superior pairing with foods – including hamburgers, pizza and hot dogs.”

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.