In the never-ending battle of soft drinks, there are really only two main competitors: Coke vs. Pepsi.  In all reality however, there isn’t any competition or comparison between the Colas because Coca-Cola will always win in branding and taste.

There is a significant difference when you begin to examine the visual styles of these brands sports beverages.  Pepsi’s Gatorade brand is much more successful at creating a successful collateral packaging design than Coke’s Powerade brand.
In the packaging of the above, the first thing that is apparent is the red, lightning bolt-esque design on each of the packages.  The Gestalt principle of continuity is apparent in this design, showing us a smooth path from bottom left to the top right.

The use of color and contrast also should not be ignored when examining why this packaging works.  The only color used on each of the bottles is the color of the beverage (in this case, red) and the orange used in the lightning bolt and lid.  This use (or lack of) color makes the bold “G” trademark stand out, identifying the brand.

The shape of the bottles is important to the effectiveness of the design.  The sleek curves of the bottles scream sporty, like the curves on an expensive sports car.  

In the case of Powerade, a few design ideas are shared with Gatorade, but to a lesser degree of effectiveness.  Powerade also attempts to use a single color focus, but with a black label and stark, white text.  This works okay; however spelling out an entire word doesn’t have the same visual power as the large white letter G on the Gatorade bottles.

The shape of these bottles is not as effective.  While a bottle of powerade and gatorade are pretty much the same volume, the handgrip on the powerade bottle makes the bottle seem bulky, a far cry from the sleek, race car lines of the gatorade.

When looking at these two ads, there is a distinct difference in appearance.  The Gatorade ad is balanced; placing the largest bottle in the middle.  The Powerade ad has an asymmetrical balance and just feels off; the text on the left is to high, and everything on the ad is shifted upwards which feels weird, making the negative space unbalanced and empty.


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