Dr Pepper/Seven Up hires Deutsch to push new drink

PLANO, TX: Cadbury Schweppes-owned Dr Pepper/Seven Up is planning a major PR and marketing initiative in support of its new 7 UP Plus.

PLANO, TX: Cadbury Schweppes-owned Dr Pepper/Seven Up is planning a major PR and marketing initiative in support of its new 7 UP Plus.

Total spending on marketing, advertising, and PR will be $40 million to $50 million through next year, said Steve Jarmon, Cadbury VP of marketing resources. Jarmon could not break PR spending out of that total.

The new offering will be available nationally on Saturday.

Deutsch in New York, which has done work in the past on other Cadbury-owned brands, is handling the PR efforts, which will center on local events across the country and sampling opportunities for consumers, Jarmon added.

One of the first events will be the setting up of a tennis court and product sampling in New York's Grand Central Terminal on Friday, before the start of the US Open in New York, Jarmon said. Other events will follow next month.

Deutsch also is using PR to gain attention for 7 UP advertising that will feature Sex and the City stars Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis, along with talk-show hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa.

Entertainment Tonight already has run a piece on the making of the ads, which will hit airwaves in October.

Messaging for 7 UP Plus will stress that "we're creating a new category with this beverage," Jarmon said.

B-roll already has been produced and is being distributed.

7 UP Plus contains fruit juice, calcium, and vitamin C. It is caffeine free and uses the artificial sweetener Splenda, so it has only 10 calories and three grams of carbs per serving, Jarmon explained.

The rollout of the new beverage comes as the company is also introducing a new tagline for the brand - "The Only Way to Go is Up."

The new tagline will be used to tie together various 7 UP offerings, such as the diet version and the new Plus, Jarmon explained. "It's a unifying message," he said.

Dr Pepper/Seven Up is the largest beverage division of Cadbury Schweppes, producing such brands as Sunkist, A&W Root Beer, Canada Dry, and RC Cola.

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