What do you think when you hear the word "Pepsi?" Chances are you think, "I guess if you're outta Coke, yeah that's fine. Do you have Diet Coke? No? Mr. Pibb? No? Forget it. Pepsi's fine." But what The Pepsi Corporation would prefer you to think is, "A kind of brown swill with amazing marketing!"

Haha, remember a couple years ago when Pepsi very slightly altered the white line in its logo and justified this move with a document that rivals The Book of Mormon in its messianic self-justification? That was fun. "The Earth's Geodynamo," was only one of the phrases tossed around to explain that very slight rebranding. Sadly, it didn't help; Pepsi is now the number three cola brand behind Coke and Diet Coke. Today, Ad Age's Natalie Zmuda takes a behind-the-scenes look at Pepsi's "BEVERAGE LAB," where the future of the sugar water company's brand-smokescreening is being plotted. Here is but a small taste (get it?) of what it takes to come up with a new sugar water slogan in 2012:

For nine months, a core team of Pepsi execs, including Messrs. Jakeman and Lowden, scoured the globe for inspiration, looked to the past for insights and sought to understand what precisely made Pepsi different from Coke. There were exhaustive focus groups, in-home ethnographies, quantitative and qualitative studies, and cultural immersions in markets as diverse as Argentina, Australia, United Arab Emirates and Russia...

Coke, Mr. Jakeman said, represents happiness and moments of joy, while it protects culture and maintains the status quo. Pepsi, on the other hand, creates culture and embraces individuality. For Pepsi loyalists, leading an exciting life is much more important than leading a happy one, Mr. Jakeman said.

"Pepsi, on the other hand, creates culture and embraces individuality." I'm sorry to admit that excavating the amount of bullshit in this would surpass my literary abilities.

Drink water.

[Ad Age. Related. Photo via]