7 UP Super Bowl strategy brings back the UN idea

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Cadbury Schweppes' Dr Pepper/Seven Up unit, Plano, Texas, said it will use the 1999 Super Bowl telecast on Fox TV to launch a major new campaign for its ailing 7 UP brand aimed at tapping into the 12-to-24-year-old market. The edgy campaign, from long time agency Y&R Advertising, New York, is themed "Are U an UN?" The new ads bring back the soft drink's former Uncola positioning.

The Jan. 31 Super Bowl launch of the campaign will be preceded in the four weeks before the game by 250 airings of teaser commercials asking, "Are U an UN? Find out 1-31-99." No mention of the 7 UP brand is made.

The marketer said "an UN is a person who is unique, self-confident and self-assured--a 7 UP drinker. In the spots breaking during the Super Bowl, the story line features a battle pitting the UNs against a group called the Anti-Refreshment Syndicate, which tries, unsuccessfully, to stop the UNs from enjoying 7 UP.

Dr Pepper/Seven Up said it purchased one 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl's second quarter, a 30-second spot during cable TV network MTV's alternate half-time show and a 30-second spot in the Super Bowl post-game show on Fox. A fourth 7 UP spot that day will air during Fox's prime-time schedule. The Super Bowl debut for the campaign will be followed a "7 Nights of 7 UP" media blitz.

John Clarke, chief advertising officer for Dr Pepper/Seven Up, unveiled the new campaign at 7 UP's annual bottler meeting in Plano. Spending was not disclosed.

Volume for the soft-drink brand fell 2.3% in the January-July period of this year compared to a year ago, despite a major product repositioning that kicked off at the beginning of the year. "The results are beyond disappointing," said Todd Stitzer, president-CEO, Dr Pepper/Seven Up.

Copyright September 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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