Dr Pepper may be a drink that brings on a feeling of nostalgia, but the 127-year old soda brand is seeking to freshen up its image.
It’s new One of a Kind social campaign launched early in July aims to draw more interest from millennials by associating itself with hip and emerging artists including Brooklyn-based street wear designer Rocksmith, producer/songwriter The Dream, who has written songs for Justin Bieber and Beyonce, and DJ Green Lantern.
These and other artists are featured in a series of videos that were developed in conjunction with Complex Media, which bills itself as a collection of websites aimed at “influential young males ready to buy, collect and obsess.”
Each video shows an artist talking about their own creative process and explaining why they, like Dr Pepper, are “one of kind,” after which they introduce a specially-designed item for the brand. That includes a crystal-encrusted set of sunglasses from The Dream, a funky skateboard from skate artist Keith Hufnagel and his company Huf, and a stool made from salvaged materials from NYC rooftop water towers, designed by Tri-Lox.
Users can enter the contest to win one of the items by following @DrPepper and tweeting a promotion message with the #OneofaKindStyle hashtag, entering on Facebook, or showing a picture of themselves with #OneofaKindStyle on Instagram. The winners will be announced at the end of the 90-day campaign, which ends September 12.
“We were looking to help Dr Pepper stand out in the digital space among hard to reach young millennial males in the top 25 urban markets by making the brand seem relevant and credible,” Moksha Fitzgibbons, chief revenue officer of Complex Media, tells ClickZ. “Brands in general need to get more multi-cultural as the country changes.”
Millennials also have a myriad of choices when it comes to beverages, from flavored teas and waters to other soda brands, so carbonated brands have to work harder to stand out than they used to. Dr Pepper in particular was not that strong in the markets that impact youth culture.
“We needed to grow our influence in the areas focused on urban and youth,” says Richard Lyons, manager, Interactive, Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Dr Pepper, whose roots are in Waco, Texas, is typically stronger in the central regions of the U.S. than on the East and West Coast, he says.
Dr Pepper has been working with Complex for several years to develop the “One of a Kind” messaging, which Lyons says fits to Dr Pepper because of its unique flavor. That message will also be extended in future social campaigns focused around sponsorship activities with the college football market as well as its annual tuition scholarship giveaway, awarded to deserving kids.
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Mary Lisbeth D'Amico is a freelance writer based in Jersey City who frequently covers digital marketing, social media, tech startups, and venture capital. She has contributed to a wide range of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Red Herring, and Real Deals. Find her on Twitter at @mldamico.
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