Retaining the "Dr Pepper Makes the World Taste Better" tagline used in 2000 as well as the "Diet Dr Pepper Tastes More Like Regular Dr Pepper" tagline used since 1991, officials unveiled the brand's 2001 advertising to bottlers gathered here today. Nine new commercial advertising spots will be supporting the brand next year, including five 30-second ads for regular Dr Pepper plus two 15-second and two 30-second ads for Diet Dr Pepper. One Dr Pepper commercial features boxer Laila Ali, daughter of heavyweight great Muhammad Ali, in an aspirational effort to reach African-American consumers.

All of the commercials use the brand's attributes as a uniquely tasting, fun, sociable and desirable beverage to maintain advertising continuity that has evolved over the past 13 years. The four regular and four diet commercials were created by Young & Rubicam New York, while the regular Dr Pepper commercial featuring Laila Ali was created by Shift Advertising of Dallas.

"We have successfully created and nurtured the Dr Pepper brand image over many years, and our advertising efforts have resulted in unprecedented brand loyalty among consumers and tremendous brand equity to Dr Pepper and its bottlers," explained John Clarke, Dr Pepper Chief Advertising Officer. "Our improving brand awareness, advertising awareness and past four-week usage of both regular and diet Dr Pepper, which we track closely, bear this out."

According to Clarke, "Dr Pepper is the only non-cola soft drink to grow brand awareness of late, especially among its targeted 12- to 34-year-old consumers, surpassing one of the brand's primary non-cola competitors and 'drafting' closely behind the other. Dr Pepper has not only taken the lead in past four-week usage, but is the only non-cola to grow this measurement compared with a year ago," added Clarke.

One explanation for the Dr Pepper advertising success is what Clarke refers to as the brand's "stand-out" messages to its target consumers, a strategy employed again for 2001. Another explanation is the effort made by Dr Pepper to anticipate trends and be where its consumers are when they get there, such as online on the Internet.

Those efforts have paid off handsomely. As an example, Diet Dr Pepper leads the non-cola diet segment in advertising awareness by a two-to-one margin over other diet non-cola soft drinks and has helped the brand outpace the growth of its competitors in an effort to reach consumers in the 18- to 49-year-old age group.

"If our 2001 Dr Pepper and Diet Dr Pepper commercials continue to expand brand awareness and increase trial and usage by consumers, we will hit more home runs for our bottlers, retailers and the brand," concluded Clarke.

Dr Pepper is the leading brand in the extensive non-cola soft drink portfolio of Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. brands represent about 16 percent of the U.S. carbonated soft drink market. It is the largest division of London-based Cadbury Schweppes plc (NYSE: CSG - news). Other leading brands in the Dr Pepper/Seven Up portfolio include 7 UP, A&W Root Beer, Sunkist, Canada Dry, Hawaiian Punch, Schweppes and Squirt.