Seeking stronger sales among teen-agers, Cadbury Beverages' Dr Pepper will run a five-month promotion with Fox TV's successful drama series "Party of Five," beginning in January.
The promotion is part of a '97 marketing plan that also includes new advertising and package graphics aimed at giving the nation's No. 4 soft drink a younger image.
Advertising for '97 from Young & Rubicam, New York (AA, Sept. 30), includes the new tagline: "Now is the time. This is the place. Dr Pepper, this is the taste."
In the first phase of the "Party of Five" promo, consumers can collect proofs of purchase and redeem them for "Party of Five" T-shirts. Then, on a special episode in March, cast members will announce winning POP numbers for a variety of prizes, including a year's supply of Dr Pepper and trips for two to a cast party.
In the second phase, a call-in contest during the "Party of Five" season finale in May will offer Jeep vehicles.
Last winter, Coca-Cola Co. produced a similar promotion for Diet Coke with NBC's "Friends," and the marketer called it one of the most successful promotions in its history.
Radio, print and outdoor ads will support the Dr Pepper promo; executives declined to disclose a media budget. The brand will be supported by about $70 million in media advertising in 1996.
Dr Pepper has been one of the fastest-growing soft drinks in the U.S. for several years, consistently outpacing the category in volume growth. In the second quarter of '96, brand volume increased 6%.
Cadbury Beverages' struggling 7UP also is getting new advertising for the holidays and for '97. For that brand, Y&R preserved the current tagline, "It's an up thing."
Todd Stitzer, Cadbury Beverages' chief operating officer, promised bottlers earlier this month a "significant" media spending increase on 7UP for next year. The brand spent $20 million on media in the first half of '96 but saw market share fall 11%, according to Information Resources Inc.
Rival Sprite, from Coca-Cola, continued its surge as the fastest-growing soft drink.