A study in 2013 asked people to drink two identical beverages, but claimed that they were different brands of cola. When participants drank a beverage that they thought was Coke, as opposed to a generic version thereof, they not only thought it tasted better, but it actually did taste better, at least to them. Scientists found a stronger response in the ventral striatum and the amygdala while conducting variations on the beverage tests, which has strong implications at the intersection of marketing, art, and psychology.
Perception is everything, not just in an ethereal subjective sense, but as a biological reality. An artist, if successful, can essentially make the same chemicals hitting the same receptors trigger a completely new reaction. It’s the alchemy of art: the power to turn lead into gold if you paint it in the right light. Or in this case, the power to turn Pepsi into Coke.