In 2008, an Arnell Group design document called Breathtaking was leaked to the public. The 27-page document was the point of much ridicule as its contents attempt to explain how the proposed Pepsi logo was the ultimate realization of thousands of years of good design. Gems include:
conformance with the golden ratio (frequently used in the world of design) (p. 18) and detailed instructions on how to construct the logo using the golden ratio spiral (p. 19)
a 5000+ year timeline of all the "authentic Constitution of Design" (culminating with the Pepsi "Breathtaking" logo) (p. 6)
Apparently, the new logo fulfills the destiny of good design in addition to making Pepsi's logo look similar to other modern logos.
In 2009, the Arnell Group orchestrated the Tropicana orange juice package redesign. (Tropicana is owned by PepsiCo). The design met with amazing backlash from consumers (supposedly, there was a 20% drop in sales) and the existing iconic straw-in-orange design was reinstated.
What was your reaction when Pepsi changed its logo? What about Tropicana? Other companies?
Breathtaking Design Strategy for the original 27-page design document.
Pepsi's Nonsensical Logo Redesign Document: $1 Million for This? at BNET for a longer discussion about the Pepsi logo redesign.
Tropicana's Marketing Folly at Harvard Business Review for a discussion of how focus groups fail to provide and understanding of advertising in context.