2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the 'Pepsi Generation' advertising campaign. Spearheaded by Alan Maxwell Pottasch, it was said, the 'Pepsi Generation' had become "more than an ad campaign...it really helped define that generation." That generation was the baby boomers. Comprised of some 76.4 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, the generation reached its peak from 1956 to 1960. Numerically the baby boomers had become the largest demographic group in the United States. In 2006, the first of the 'Pepsi Generation' turned 60.
The 'Pepsi Generation' campaign was regarded ground-breaking because it focused on the people using the product rather than the actual product itself. Alan admitted, "Pepsi named and claimed 25 million young people for its own with a big, sweeping invitation to live life to its fullest...Pepsi was young, spirited, people doing active things – playing volleyball on the beach...but younger, we said, in mind, in attitude, in feeling. Young in spirit. Young in heart." Bill Cosby had said, "In America, the 7 ages of man have become pre-schooler, 'Pepsi Generation', baby boomer, mid-lifer, empty-nester, senior citizen and organ donor." When demographers began following the baby boom, they called it "the pig (boomers) in the python (time)" because of the sheer numbers. The 1980 U.S. Budget Report conceded, "The baby boom generation may never achieve the relative economic success of the generations immediately preceding it or following it."
Of the 'Pepsi Generation' campaign, it was revealed, "Halfway through, we realized we were on to something. The Pepsi project were on to something. The Pepsi project grew and created a model for future projects." Alan acknowledged, "For us to name and claim a whole generation after our product was a rather courageous thing that we weren't sure would take off...What we now call the baby boomers as the 'Pepsi Generation.'" This was also the first generation to be raised on television. It was said, "Advertising is so much a part of our fabric like many things that are intrinsic or essential, you don’t even know it’s there. It is a key element in the structure of our society." One advertising executive insisted, "Alan was the keeper of the creative flame, Pepsi's creative conscience, always putting the long-term health of the brands over quick-fix short-term solutions. Every company should be blessed with an Alan Pottasch." Another added, "Alan had an extraordinary ability to understand and connect with people, whether they were his family, friends, colleagues or consumers of the brands he loved to market."
Writing for 'People Weekly' in 1980, Landon Y. Jones put into words, "In the space of a single generation, the women of the baby boom have changed the typical environment of the American woman from the home to the workplace. Along the way they have redefined marriage and child-bearing as optional lifestyles. Young working mothers no longer apologize for their jobs. Childless couples no longer have to defend themselves (except possibly to their parents). Women are increasingly free to pursue education and careers on an equal basis with men. Trial marriages and tentative sexual relationships are accepted. Divorce is so common that of all marriages contracted in 1980, an estimated 40% will end in divorce. If Dustin Hoffman was acting out the baby boom's adolescent angst in 1967 in 'The Graduate', he was just as vividly portraying the generation's marital dilemma in 'Kramer vs. Kramer.'"