Sold by soda: Dr Pepper’s D-FW ad

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Dr Pepper is one of Texas’ best-known beverage brands. Since its inception in 1885, the company has deployed a variety of marketing tactics to compete with the gaseous competition.

Whether it’s touting its purported stimulating properties in the early 1900s or defending the reheated Dr Pepper in the ’60s, the company has always found innovative ways to connect with customers and get them to buy packs. by Dr Pepper.

Local ads from The news trace the evolution of Dr. Pepper’s advertising campaigns that enabled Dallas residents to sell soda.

Origin story

First served in 1885, Dr Pepper is originally from Waco, Texas, by Charles Courtice Alderton, a pharmacist at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store who served soda when not filling prescriptions. Kent Biffle wrote in the 1980s New “Drink Biography” article: “Alderton noticed that soda drinkers … were tired of the same old strawberry, cherry, orange, lemon and sarsaparilla drinks. Alderton has devised new concoctions, combining flavored syrups. When he came up with the Dr Pepper flavor, he invented it “The Waco”, but his manager suggested changing his name to Dr Pepper.

King of drinks

Advertisement published August 5, 1906.(The morning news from Dallas)

At the dawn of the 20th century, Dr. Pepper proclaimed himself the “king of drinks” and “liquid sunlight”, igniting his consumers with “vim, vigor and vitality”. Dr Pepper’s commercials highlighted his lack of stimulants, namely caffeine and cocaine, which competitor Coca-Cola mixed in his original recipe.

A focus on health

Advert published May 27, 1932.
Advert published May 27, 1932.(The Dallas Morning News)

During the Great Depression, Dr Pepper’s health properties were in the spotlight, with advertisements characterizing it as a “safe for children 3 to 90” tonic. One ad showed 114 imaginary peppy jack sprites, each representing one calorie, in a 6.5-ounce bottle, comparing the calorie count of common foods to that of Dr Pepper.

“Have a bite to eat”

A clock depicting the famous Dr Pepper soda 10, 2 and 4 motto is one of the exhibits at the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco.  Photographed May 6, 1991.
A clock depicting the famous Dr Pepper soda 10, 2 and 4 motto is one of the exhibits at the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco. Photographed May 6, 1991.(Catharine Krueger)

In the 1920s, medical research surfaced at around zero hours, the hours of 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. when hunger and energy were plummeting. [at 10, 2, and 4]Slogans, because the drink was supposed to stimulate energy and satisfy the appetite. Bottles emblazoned with “10-2-4” reminded consumers of the medically prescribed times of day to gobble up Dr. Pepper.

DP later had a connection to the national WWII effort. As Biffle explained, “the importance of [zero hours] studies … helped processors of soft drinks earn sugar rations during WWII by claiming their drinks were “food.” New Writer Laura Casteneda developed this in 1995: Because of these studies, Dr Pepper declared himself essential to the war effort “since war production workers were supposed to be more efficient after drinking soda. “.

Heat and add a lemon

Advertisement for Hot Dr Pepper published November 22, 1967.
Advertisement for Hot Dr Pepper published November 22, 1967.(The morning news from Dallas)

In the mid-1960s, Dr Pepper invited customers to warm up the drink in the winter. Some hot Dr Pepper recipes called for a lemon wedge. Warm Dr Pepper has exploded sales at winter college and professional football games.

Be a pepper

Illustration accompanying a story published April 20, 1980.
Illustration accompanying a story published April 20, 1980.(David Penca)

Dr Pepper oriented its marketing to consumers in the late 1970s through the “Be A Pepper” campaign. 1979 Dr Pepper Co. Chairman WW Clements explained, “Be A Pepper says it’s part of the in the crowd, you must drink Dr Pepper.

Title published September 22, 1979.
Title published September 22, 1979.(The morning news from Dallas)

One person has taken Being a Pepper, or Dr Pepper’s Devotee, to the next level. In the case of a reported burglary in 1979, furniture was strewn by the intruder, but no valuables or electronic devices were stolen. The only thing taken from the residence? Two cans of Dr Pepper in the fridge.

In the last quarter of 1982, Dr Pepper suffered its first loss since 1955. Faced with the marketing power wielded by industry giants Coca Cola and PepsiCo, Dr Pepper had to distinguish itself from competing colas. In 1984, Dr Pepper coined a new advertising phrase – “out of the ordinary” – to extend to an “original and out of the ordinary” market audience.

Out of the ordinary

Extract from an advertisement
Extract from an advertisement “I’m A Pepper” published July 3, 1981.(The Dallas Morning News)

In 1981, drinking cans of Dr Pepper meant making money. The tab bottoms of regular and sugar-free Dr Pepper cans were printed with cash amounts of $ 25, 50, or $ 1.00 or the individual letters “I’M A PEPPER”. Whoever returned all the letters won a cash prize of $ 250.

Diet debuts

Clipping of the Dietetic Dr Pepper ad published on March 21, 1963.
Clipping of the Dietetic Dr Pepper ad published on March 21, 1963.(The morning news from Dallas)

In 1963, Sugar Free Dr Pepper, also known as Dietetic Dr Pepper, was released. This early version of diet soda was not popular, however, due to the misconception that the drink was intended for diabetics.

Twenty years later, NutraSweet, or aspartame, entered the sweetener scene, causing sales of diet sodas to skyrocket. In 1987, Dr Pepper USA replaced sugar with aspartame in its Dr Pepper sugar-free formula and changed the name to Diet Dr Pepper, launching an aggressive diet soda advertising campaign including “prime time programming, print, late night and syndicated network programs, MTV and movie trailers.

In May 1993, Dr Pepper / Seven-Up Cos. Inc. launched a month-long Diet Dr Pepper promotion, sponsoring the Country Music Awards and the latest episode of Cheers’, and offering $ 1 coupons in People, USA Today, and TV-Guide. In the second quarter of 1993, corporate profits reached a record high of 11.5%, “[racking] sales twice the industry average in supermarkets and fast food outlets in the first half of 1993. Company officials attributed some of the unprecedented revenue to the May media blitz.

Youth pop culture

Arlington High students deposit their money in the row of Dr. Pepper soft drink vending machines during lunch hour, published February 28, 1998.
Arlington High students deposit their money in the row of Dr. Pepper soft drink vending machines during lunch hour, published February 28, 1998.(TF_Tom Fox / 113517)
Title published November 6, 2000.
Title published November 6, 2000.(The morning news from Dallas)

As the new millennium dawned, Dr Pepper ads arrived in some D-FW public schools. Dr Pepper has contracted with local school districts like Plano ISD, obtaining the exclusive rights to sell Dr Pepper products in K-12 school cafeterias, vending machines and campus events. This 2000 New the editorial debated the merits and drawbacks of this partnership, citing the increased income for schools as a positive and the health effects as a negative.

In 2007, Dr Pepper became one of the first companies to develop an “advergame” or branded game aimed at children. A browser-based “match-three” game, Dr Pepper’s Match Caps challenged players to match three circular logos in a row. The advergame won the title of “People’s Choice Winner” at the 2008 Webby Awards.


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