The design team created the limited-edition Pepsi Patriots Championship Laces Can to celebrate the kick-off of the NFL’s 100th season and honor the Super Bowl LIII champions, the New England Patriots. Pepsi, the official soft drink of the NFL for more than 17 seasons, saluted those who unapologetically celebrate the sport of football with its latest campaign, “Always be Celebrating.”
The Pepsi Patriots Championship Can is an embodiment of what can be achieved by combining graphics, structure, design and technology to create an innovative, differentiated, and emotive take on football that invites recipients to hold, share, and celebrate the novelty of this can. Designed to generate awareness and buzz, this super premium design celebrates memorable cultural moments in football and increases Pepsi brand love. With elevated shelf appeal, it also motivates collectors to proudly display their Pepsi Patriots Championship Can.
Inspired by the form and feel of a football, the textured Pepsi-meets-Patriots blue can is formed on one side to mimic the laces on a football in order to evoke excitement and enhance the consumer’s sensory experience. On the other side, the can features red and white accents and is proudly emblazoned with a 6x Champions Graphic and the Patriots logo. Made available to select Patriots fans at the 2019-2020 NFL Kickoff Event, each can was enthroned in a specially-designed custom carton.
The challenge in designing the Pepsi Patriots Championship Can was to capture the great spirit of American football with key visual elements and the tactile feel of its iconic ball in the form of a beverage can. To achieve this goal, the team employed can-shaping technology and direct-to-shape (DTS) printing, resulting in a completely unique, premium, textured aluminum can that provides a multi-sensory consumer experience, specifically through visual aesthetics and somatosensation.
This super premium design delivers a satisfying sensorial experience that reminds recipients of their love for Pepsi, while also commemorating a key cultural event. What sets the limited-edition Pepsi Patriots Championship Can apart is the advanced technological processes through which it was designed. In collaboration with our manufacturing partner, a proprietary can blow-molding technology was used to achieve the unique shaping on the aluminum can, specifically, the eight laces that closely mimic the laces on a football. The shape of the can was created from a pre-formed straight cylinder by aluminum shaping, a process in which extreme air pressure is used to blow the form into a mold. Starting with a 0.5 liter can size, this technology allows only the cold aluminum to expand slightly, so it requires careful use of limited space to define the contour and details of a 3D form.
After the Pepsi Patriots Championship Can was shaped, DTS printing, which uses small format UV LED inkjet technology, was used to add dimensionality and enhance the texture of the area surrounding the laces to accomplish a feel reminiscent of the pig skin on an actual football. The secondary outer packaging created for the influencer kit was designed with faceted structural elements to mirror traditional merchandise packaging for footballs, with the front open to present and highlight the unique shape of the can. A magnetic closure also ensured stability of the can presentation.
Ultimately, the Pepsi Patriots Championship Can provided an exciting personal and emotional connection to the 2018 Super Bowl Champions, the New England Patriots. The limited-edition design successfully generated 121+ MM PR impressions, allowing fans to relive the thrill of Super Bowl LIII. For those who attended NFL Kickoff, the Pepsi Patriots Championship Can is a prized memento enjoyed for years to come.