It was reported in today’s WSJ that Dr. Pepper is launching a $35 million ad campaign telling consumers to drink Dr. Pepper more slowly. Only then, according to a market research company that uncovered this little gem, will one really experience the 23 flavors that blend together to create the distinctive taste. Did someone say cherry?
Deutsch, the Dr. Pepper agency, admits the idea is a little far-fetched and, so, has surrounded the “drink slowly” idea with two fake doctor spokespeople: Dr. J. (Julius Irving) and Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer of the sitcom Frasier.)
Soda experts quoted in the article agree the advertising needs to emphasize taste attributes and I agree. Here’s the problem (and I reserved the right to correct myself after I see the ads,) the core taste attribute is the 23 flavors. The advertising is about drinking slowly in order to taste those flavors. If the 23 flavors get lost, the core value is lost and the idea ends up being the drinking process. And with fake doctors as spokespeople, I fear the real idea will be buried even further.
The brief is probably something like “savor the 23 flavors” but with emphasis on the savor and not the flavor, Dr. Pepper and Deutsch will have misfired.