Dr Pepper was invented in 1885, which makes it older than
The drink is a secret blend of 23 different fruit flavours, and in the
US, is the biggest-selling non-cola soft drink.
Cadbury Schweppes bought the global Dr Pepper brand in 1995, and
relaunched it in the UK in 1996. Since then, UK sales percentages have
grown in double-figures each year.
Research has shown that once consumers have tasted Dr Pepper, repeat
purchase is high. An integrated campaign has been launched based on this
To make Dr Pepper the leading non-cola beverage choice among UK
To build the badge value of Dr Pepper among teenagers and mums.
Strategy and Plan
A media plan was devised and implemented by Burson-Marsteller. The aim
was to create maximum media coverage over the summer period, a key time
for the beverages industry.
The team came up with the idea of a panel of ’trend predictors’
comprised of teenagers and industry experts. The panel would meet on a
quarterly basis to discuss various subjects. The findings would then be
issued to the media.
The agency undertook a national search for trend-predicting teenagers
throughout the UK’s shopping centres. It has resulted in the appointment
of the ’trendiest teenager’ in Britain, and a ’trendy teenager’ in each
The first subject up for discussion was ’technology for the future’.
The panel’s thoughts were duly released to the media.
The plan is to continue with the panels throughout the year and to
secure more coverage in the teen press, radio and through
A sampling campaign was also undertaken, drawing on the ’to try it, is
to love it’ strapline featured in the brand’s advertising. B-M account
handlers attended key teen events across such as pop concerts and the
Cosmo Show with the objective of creating maximum impact for the brand
and ’talkability’ among the target audience. This was not a
straightforward sampling campaign.
Instead of handing out Dr Pepper-branded cans, the samples were
disguised with an outer ’peel to reveal’ wrapper which was unbranded. It
is only once the contents of the can were drunk that the wrapper could
be removed to reveal the drink’s identity.
Nor were the drinks handed out willy-nilly - they went to ’ringleaders’
of groups at the event. These were identified by the sampling team,
which was comprised of teens whose clothing and appearance was tailored
to ensure they stood out as ’aspirational’ figures for other
Measurement and evaluation
With media hits on programmes such as BBC’s Fully Booked, Channel Five’s
The Mag and Kiss FM, this campaign is certain to have an impact. Further
pieces are scheduled for teen magazines throughout the year, so this
Estimates are that through the distribution of 100,000 samples, some
500,000 people have been reached, creating a good talk factor in the
The campaign will be evaluated later in the year by Burson-Marsteller’s
in-house system, Critique.
As anyone in youth marketing knows, the problem is always to make a
campaign credible, and ensure it talks to its audience, not at them.
Using teenagers as a part of the campaign was a sensible way of avoiding
some of the cynicism held by modern-day youth.
Burson-Marsteller says the Dr Pepper team is already receiving calls
from the media enquiring about the findings of the next trend-predictors
panel. With so much interest in predicting the future in the run-up to
the millennium, the enquiries look set to continue.
Client: Dr Pepper
PR Team: Burson-Marsteller
Campaign: Trendy teens
Timescale: January 1999 ongoing