Claim: Stacking two of Pepsi’s special 1990 “Cool Cans” spelled out the word “S-E-X.”
Origins: For a limited time during the summer of 1990 (Memorial Day through the Fourth of July), Pepsi distributed its flagship soft drink in four specially-designed “Cool Cans” as part of a promotional campaign. The four designs included confetti, neon, sunglasses, and surfer motifs:
It wasn’t long before someone came up with a new version of the Pepsi Challenge: find the secret word
Whew! Sex wasn’t half so hard to find when Disney hid it.
As for any thoughts that the whole “hidden sex message” thing was intentional, a Pepsi advertising manager noted “The cans were designed to be cool and fun and different; something to get the consumer’s attention,” but Pepsi spokesman Tod MacKenzie maintained the message was “nothing more than an odd coincidence,” pointing out the neon can was selected only because consumers had indicated during market testing they preferred it over hundreds of other potential “Cool Can” designs.
Last updated: 30 November 2014