7Up was the brainchild of Charles Leiper Grigg, a Missouri man who during the early 1900s was one of the pioneers in the ad and sales industries. After a few failed tries at making beverages, he decided to focus on citrus flavors, and by 1929 had concocted 7Up. In the 1950s, the brand launched a campaign bragging that it had the youngest consumers in the business. One print ad pictured a baby drinking 7Up:
This young man is 11 months old and he isn't our youngest customer by any means. For 7Up is so pure, so wholesome, you can even give it to babies and feel good about it. Look at the back of a 7Up bottle. Notice that all our ingredients are listed. (That isn't required of soft drinks, you know -- but we're proud to do it and we think you're pleased that we do.) By the way, Mom, when it comes to toddlers -- if they like to be coaxed to drink their milk, try this: Add 7Up to the milk in equal parts, pouring the 7Up gently into the milk. It's a wholesome combination -- and it works! Make 7Up your family drink.
For almost fifty years, 7Up's lead agency was JWT. From that relationship came the "Uncola" campaign of the late 1960s and the 1970s that positioned the drink against Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Later came the animated red “Spot” character that jumped off the packaging, courtesy of Leo Burnett and featured in the 1992 and 1994 Super Bowls.
After a 1999 Super Bowl ad from WPP's Young & Rubicam asking viewers whether they were “an Un” resisting the “Soft Drink Syndicate,” Y&R introduced the punny “Make 7Up Yours” campaign seen in this 2000 Super Bowl spot. The campaign featured actor Orlando Jones and had a college humor vibe: One spot found Jones at a nudist camp, with T-shirts handed out reading "Make 7" on the front and "Up Yours" on the back. “Show Us Your Cans” is a spoof of marketers’ contests for their fans. Consumers responded well to the campaign, which lasted until 2005, though it skipped a few Super Bowls before returning in 2004 ("Slam Dunk").
Production company: Cortez Brothers.
AGENCY: Young & Rubicam