Warped story of the day: Time magazine article on Pepsi and Obama

I don’t know what’s worse: The fact that Time magazine devoted an entire page to trying to determine whether Coke or Pepsi was the Obama administration’s beverage of choice, or the fact that contained within the piece was the news that Pepsi has now taken to using Obama slogans and logos as part of an advertising campaign used to demonstrate the drink’s “hipness”:

In an apparent homage to the new President, PepsiCo has plastered the sides of buses and bus stops in the nation’s capital with slogans like “Yes You Can,” “Optimismmmm” and “Hope.” In each poster, the letter O is inscribed with the redesigned Pepsi logo, a red, white and blue sphere that echoes the rising-sun image used by the Obama campaign.

It is not hard to interpret the message. Since 1984, Pepsi has been marketing itself as the hip, happening beverage of youth — “The choice of a new generation,” as its longtime slogan went. And Barack Obama, one of the youngest men to serve as President, is nothing if not hip, especially among young consumers who supported him by wide margins. Pepsi says the campaign is not a political endorsement. “We’re not interested in following political tailwinds,” says Nicole Bradley, a Pepsi spokeswoman. “But we are interested in cultural change.”

The rest of it reads like something you’ve find on the pages of Teen Beat, as it displays the writer’s in depth efforts into finding out which cola is the preference of Barry Oh! and Co. Is it Coke? Is it Pepsi? I don’t want give away the “big reveal.” You’ll have to read the rest of the article to find out.

Interestingly enough, in an article titled “Obama: The Pepsi candidate,” Slate magazine pointed out the similarities in the Obama logo and the Pepsi logo last year. The speculation on the logos has been around for a while now, but this year it’s clear that Pepsi has taken the “change” motto directly to heart – without question.

Back in January, a Flickr user documented side by side comparisons of the logos:

Pepsi and Obama

As Jake Tapper, borrowing a line from Hillary Clinton, pointed out last month as well when the new Pepsi logo was announced, this is “change we can Xerox.”

And also, let me point out that Pepsi’s claims that this logo change has nothing to do with Barack Obama are complete bullsh*t. Look at this page. Specifically, look at the link on the lower left side that reads:

Dear Mr. President
We recently provided the people an open letter to our new President. See what the world is asking from the new man in charge.

Here are a screencap of the middle of the main page:

Here’s the screencap of the “see what the world is asking” link:

If you click this link, you’ll see what people are writing to the “Pepsi President.” You’ll see pictures and explanations from “regular citizens” as well as Hollyweirdos who endorsed Obama last year – including will.i.am, the co-writer of the now famous “Yes we can” song (along with, unknowingly, Barack Obama).

Also on that page is this section, which speaks for itself:

Get it? Obama is going to “refresh” America. And I’d like to remind everyone that Pepsi has repeatedly denied that their campaign has anything to do with Barack Obama’s logo or motto:

Officials from Pepsi insist that their product’s new look and message in no way is intended to copy Obama’s message, but rather to align their product with the mood of the country right now.

“Pepsi has always stood for youthful exuberance and optimism, which is reflected in our new campaign like never before,” Pepsi spokeswoman Nicole Bradley told ABC News. “We can’t speak to the president-elect’s design sensibilities, but we’re all over his prevailing spirit of optimism. That’s as refreshingly bipartisan as it gets.”

Don’t like having your intelligence insulted? Don’t like Pepsi making its political affiliations clear in their blatantly political marketing campaign? Do what I do: Don’t buy their products.

Just for the record, I’m not accusing Team Obama of having anything to do with this, but I don’t even think it’s arguable that they dig it. It’s a cultural thing, a battle for the hearts and minds of a younger generation, and campaigns like this aid them in winning that battle. Would people drink a Pepsi and automatically think “Oh God, I love Obama”? No – that’s not what I’m saying. But when you’ve got left wing ice cream makers, tea makers, and soft drink drink makers promoting his message, and not only that, but when you have news networks like CBS adopting his logo and motto in their primetime show promotional advertisements, it all adds up to a powerful message: If you want to be “hip” and “with the times,” then you’d be a fool to not support President Obama’s agenda.

The next question is: Do we want people in our party who are so shallow? The answer is that people aren’t born shallow. We have to figure out a way to win over the hearts and minds of the younger generations in a way that appeals to them (but without changing the message itself) because the future of this country is going to rest in their hands. The Jindals, Palins, and Steeles are going to aid greatly in this cause because they are part of a newer generation of Republicans who have compelling stories, and who are likable, bright, capable, and unapologetically conservative, but who also have experience working across the aisle without selling out their core principles.

We, too, can sell conservatism – to anyone willing to listen. Don’t be ashamed to talk about it amongst family and friends. You know who is willing to listen and who isn’t. If the opportunity presents itself, no matter whether it’s over a big issue like the stimulus or a bumper sticker you see, don’t hesitate to speak your mind and engage people in a conversation about conservative ideals. Most liberals don’t shy away from talking about their politics, and we shouldn’t either.

It’s going to take some hard work from leaders in the party, and from the rest of us, if we want conservatives to start winning again in the arena of ideas and then eventually take back the House, Senate, and Presidency and at times it’s going to be frustrating – especially considering how the media is going to demonize every strong conservative voice that emerges in the coming years, in an effort to protect the guy they helped get elected President, as well as the party they helped give stronger majorities in the House and Senate.

Can conservative ideals rise again in the era of overwhelming Obamania? Why Yes, They Can.

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Winston Churchill, 1941

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