A Soda-Gliding 'Crave Rider' Is Dr Pepper's New Spokescharacter

Brands Drops 'One of a Kind' Strapline

Published On
Mar 13, 2017

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Dr Pepper is no longer "One of a Kind." Or at least it won't be marketed that way anymore.

In a strategic shift, the brand is ending its "Always One of a Kind" campaign in favor of a new effort called "The One You Crave." Ads by Deutsch L.A. have an '80s-throwback style and feature a MacGruber-reminiscent character called "Crave Rider" who shows up on a jet ski atop a wave of the soda during friends' get-togethers at home and in the great outdoors. The spots were directed by Ulf Johansson out of Smith & Jones.

Dr Pepper debuted "Always One of a Kind" in 2012 with a spot showing hundreds of Pepper fans taking to the streets touting their originality by wearing T-shirts describing what makes them unique. While the tagline only lasted five years, Dr Pepper has a long history of playing up its uniqueness in marketing, including a slogan used in the 1970s that declared it as "the most original soft drink ever."

But the brand decided to shift course to a more product-focused message after doing intensive consumer research. "In a day in age where everyone hypes uniqueness and everyone talks about individuality and everyone says everyone is special and everyone gets a trophy, they don't need Dr Pepper to tell them to be unique," said Derek Dabrowski, the brand's VP-brand marketing and content. Instead, the brand wants to focus on why people drink it. "And it's not because we are celebrating everyone's individuality," he said. "It's because we are an indulgent, fun treat when they are ready to indulge in a soda. So we wanted to get back more to talking about the product."

The new campaign continues its recent character-driven marketing approach. The brand's football season marketing has used a quirky stadium concessions character named Larry Culpepper who delusionally thinks he invented the college football playoff. Diet Dr Pepper has its own character named Lil' Sweet, a diminutive rock 'n' roller who in ads pops up in people's homes plugging the diet soda as a sweet afternoon reward.

Read the full story on Adage.com.