The company and its Dr Pepper/Seven Up unit want the brand, the country's sixth most popular, to grow 5%, compared with flat sales last year.
The spots feature the new tag: "Be you. Dr Pepper."
Dr Pepper President Jack Kilduff said the brand had stagnated due to higher retail prices, heightened competition and lack of display space. He said the soft drink would ramp up targeted marketing, reach out to Hispanics and African Americans and receive its largest incremental marketing increase, though he did not specify a sum.
Last year, Dr Pepper received $84 million in measured media, up from $71 million one year earlier, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.
In addition to spokesman country singer Garth Brooks, who promotes his new CD, "Scarecrow," on some Dr Pepper spots, performers Mark McGrath, of the band Sugar Ray, Thalia and Blacked Eyed Peas perform tributes to past recording artists such as Buddy Holly, Tito Puente, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
The Garth Brooks ads are the only ones to run during a 90-day transition between the 2001 campaign and next year's work.
The ads were unveiled today at the annual bottler meeting in Dallas.
Sister brand Diet Dr Pepper continues its parody spots, themed "Not everything is as good as the original, but Diet Dr Pepper is." The target audience for the diet drink is 18- to 49-year-olds.
Both products are handled by WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York.