Will Dr Pepper’s new ‘outlandish’ platform resurrect the brand?

With giant wrestlers and metal guitarists, the beverage brand is spending big to reach beyond its core group of devotees.

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A lot of people love their Dr. Pepper, but the brand hopes taking a “flamboyant” approach to its marketing will help re-introduce it to the rest of Canada.

Dr. Pepper’s new “More is More” brand platform recently launched with a series of short, 15-second videos featuring various people getting upstaged by someone who has a little bit “more” – such as a guitar player outshined by a multi-armed metal guitarist, a pro wrestler dwarfed by a gigantic opponent and a dog sledder overtaken by a rocket sled pulled by raptors.

Parul Verma, brand manager at Keurig Dr. Pepper, says the creative uses a tonal approach that is intentionally outlandish, over-the-top and flamboyant. While Dr. Pepper is an iconic brand, with a strong base of loyal drinkers, Verma admits it’s been dormant and stagnant in consumers’ minds.

“For us, the challenge was to resurrect the brand and grow awareness and trial,” Verma says. It’s about re-engaging with its customer base, but at the same time, reaching out beyond the core group of devotees.

The platform’s millennial male target was chosen based on the fact that they are more likely to be one of those heavy Dr Pepper consumers, which overindexes in Western Canada. “We want to be able to reach men in other provinces of the country, within Ontario and start to drive trial in Quebec, where historically we have not been activating,” she says.

The “More is More” concept was born out of the uniqueness of Dr. Pepper’s blend of 23 flavours, which has long been a staple of its identity, but expressed in an off-beat way that would resonate with sports fans and gamers, interests that overlap heavily with the demo it’s trying to reach. As the brand enters the flag seasons of consumption, which peaks during summer, its aim is to gain share of voice when other competitors are also active in terms of media spend.

Verma says the campaign is a “big investment spend for the brand” and that it’s committed to gaining share within its category, with longer-term activations coming.

The creative agency behind the new platform is Lg2, with which Keurig Dr. Pepper has had a longstanding relationship. Public relations and influencer marketing was done by Craft PR. The media agency is Havas, which is leaning into digital and connected TV for the brand’s media buy. The “More is More” concept will come to life through a strong digital campaign that includes YouTube, Twitch and TikTok, partnering with creators on both Twitch and TikTok to communicate the “More is More” framework to the brand’s target of gaming aficionados.