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A raft of humorous ads, including one from the point of view of a soda bottle, will kick off Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc.'s $90 million marketing effort for Dr Pepper in 1998.

With its biggest ever ad push for the brand, the beverage marketer is aiming to propel Dr Pepper to the top spot among non-colas in the U.S., a spokeswoman said. Ads from Y&R Advertising, New York, are designed to increase consumer awareness and consumption.

For the first time, the marketer has produced an international ad. It is also expanding its U.S. TV buys to include prime-time sports, soap operas and "The Rosie O'Donnell Show."

Dr Pepper also has signed to be the primary sponsor of a Nascar racing team, the first minority-owned race car to compete full time on the circuit.

According to Competitive Media Reporting, Dr Pepper spent some $66 million last year on advertising for its flagship and diet brands.

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