Ashish Rana Doppelgänger Brand Images: How Brand Logos Are Manipulated To Elevate Its Negative Impact. May 26, 2015

What is Doppelgänger Brand Image (DBI)?

DBIs are negatively modified images targeted to famous brands to show their reality or to elevate the negative impact on customers. The phenomenon follows DBI is that a brand is not what it depicts, so it shows people what the brand is. It is not necessary that DBI is true always, sometimes is just a lie to decrease the popularity of a brand. It is used by social activists, anti-brand activists and in some cases by brands to down others.

Effects of DBI on business:

Corporations spend millions of dollars on making a logo that is perfect in all aspects and shows the quality of the brand. But sometimes things go wrong, and their logo is manipulated to give an exact adverse impact on the customer.

There are many corporation who changed their way of doing business due to some revolutionary DBIs and many companies have lost their business and their respect among customers. Now companies are carefully roaming around the internet to find such things, and if they find one, they just force to remove it or issue an explanation for that DBI to minimize its effect.



The biggest and weirdest example of DBI. The price for changing Pepsi logo is estimated to several hundred million dollars, yes you read it right, the big-box carrying million dollars. It includes not only the designing of the logo, but also the cost of changing their logos around the world in advertisements, machines, stores, products and everywhere. And what they got, a slightly tilted and a bit curved logo. That’s it.

Credits: Lawrence Yang

Credits: Lawrence Yang

After the controversy, Pepsi released a document to convince people somehow that it was not so easy to design that logo. From that document named “Breathtaking Design Strategy”, they tried to give some stupid reasons like “it is designed according to the theory of relativity, Da Vinci Code, and some magnetic field of Earth.” Well, they failed because the reasons they gave are even more stupid than to accept spending so much money on just nothing. You can click here to get some details of what Pepsi gave in that report.

P.S.: Don’t laugh at Pepsi. Stupidity is not a crime.


The iconic coffee chain which made drinking coffee a style and revolutionized its sales. The problem they perceive was that some people were not happy with their rapid growth and the way it changed coffee to a cool thing to hangout for, better than those pitchers. So they found many negative DBIs on the internet, but instead of giving stupid clarifications like Pepsi, they took it as a good opportunity to increase customer relation and opened a web page ( to take ideas and suggestions from customers, a convincing way for a better feedback to make the brand reach as many as it can.

Credits: Craig J. Thompson, Aric Rindfleisch, & Zeynep Arsel (Journal of Marketing Vol. 70 (January 2006), 50–64)

Credits: Craig J. Thompson, Aric Rindfleisch, & Zeynep Arsel (Journal of Marketing Vol. 70 (January 2006), 50–64)


Other famous DBIs:






Rajasthan Royals IPL team





Credits: Dianta Barus (

Credits: Dianta Barus (

Absolut Vodka



Camel Cigarettes



Coca Cola



Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)





Conspiracy theorist, curious engineer, modern science and civilization devotee, astrophysics aficionado, travel fanatic, blogger, award-winning inventor and an avid MOOC scholar.

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