Dr Pepper will spend a record $75 million on advertising in the year ahead as it rolls out 10 new TV spots that use humor and hyperbole to sell its regular and diet brands.
The ads include Hispanic market spots completed by San Antonio agency Spark/KJS.
Diet Dr Pepper also introduces a new tagline: "Diet Dr Pepper tastes more like regular. That's our story and we're sticking to it." (Previous tag: "It's the taste you've been looking for.") "This is the taste" remains the regular brand's tag.
One Dr Pepper spot, which breaks in early December, shows Pittsburgh Steelers football coach Bill Cowher berating a player. The lineman appears to have botched a play until he hands a Dr Pepper to the coach, sheepishly explaining, "I didn't know it was the last one." Cowher snaps back, "Because you weren't thinking or counting, were you?"
In another ad, shot in black and white, a young man abandons his attractive girlfriend to claim the last Dr Pepper at a general store.
Seven spots for regular and diet drinks via Young & Rubicam, New York, were unveiled at a bottlers' convention in Orlando, Fla., last week. Also shown: a 60-second international spot and two 30-second ads for Hispanic markets.
The ad budget is up more than 50 percent over last year, when Dr Pepper spent $48.5 million, per Competitive Media Reporting.
The new spots target 12-34 year-olds who "make up our core consumer base," said John Clarke, chief advertising officer for Dr Pepper and 7 Up in Plano, Texas. "We must be more creative than ever to effectively convey our message."
Bottlers reacted enthusiastically. Kevin Lahey, vice president of marketing and sales at Buffalo Rock in Birmingham, Ala., said the diet spots were particularly eye-opening and made "consumers think there's a choice."