USA: Make 7 UP Yours Campaign Scores Big With Consumers

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One year ago, 7 UP executives had a good feeling about their soon-to debut advertising campaign featuring actor/comedian Orlando Jones as a well meaning, yet hapless, new marketer of the venerable brand. They had no idea just how big the campaign, sporting the new tagline Make 7 UP Yours, would become.

"We knew we had good material from the exhaustive testing that was done before we made the final decision to run with this concept," said John Clarke, chief advertising officer. "People of all ages were rolling in the aisles when we shared with them details about the campaign in focus groups. The level of sheer enjoyment people received from the wit and edginess of the campaign only intensified with each step along the developmental path."

Primary objectives for the campaign included differentiating 7 UP from other beverages, especially lemon-lime carbonated soft drinks; not alienating consumers whose ages are outside the 12- to 24-year-old core target demographic; re-establishing consumer equity in 7 UP as a refreshing, fun, desirable brand and to motivate people to buy more. "We needed a campaign that would be memorable in a positive way," explained Clarke. "The last 7 UP campaign most adults relate to was the Uncola advertising of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Clearly, we sought to create a campaign that would break through the advertising clutter and stake a claim for 7 UP with consumers."

Soon after the Make 7 UP Yours advertising began airing in mid November 1999, it was obvious the campaign was a "home run," according to Clarke. "We began receiving thousands of phone calls and e-mails from teenagers and young adults, all wanting to know where they could buy the T-shirt Orlando Jones wears in the most popular 30-second commercial." As the new 7 UP marketer, Jones has great ideas, but invariably each one misfires when he tries to implement them. In the T-shirt commercial, Jones walks down a busy city street smugly touting the new 7 UP tagline, which he has split to read "Make 7" on the front and "UP Yours" on the back."We gave away T-shirts to the first 1,000 consumers who called, and they were gone in a matter of two or three days," stated Clarke. To date, more than 550,000 have been sold to either bottlers or through a licensing agreement that enables interested consumers to buy Make 7 UP Yours T shirts from retailers. Most of the T-shirt buyers are in the 7 UP core target demographic, a fact that is not lost on Clarke, who smiles and eagerly points out the effort that went into ensuring the campaign's success.

Before it was even called Make 7 UP Yours, the concept for this 7 UP campaign underwent extensive qualitative and quantitative testing, using the Maya Group Limited and Teen Research Unlimited for the former during the spring and summer months in 1999. Research International provided ongoing quantitative research results on brand awareness, advertising awareness and brand usage, utilizing its 7 UP National Tracking Study. Using its Accutrak interview service, MSW Group provided additional quantitative research as did 7 UP's advertising agency, Young & Rubicam New York, using its Brand Asset Valuator tool. ACNielsen has quantified sales volume results.

To illustrate the power of the Make 7 UP Yours campaign, Clarke points to a 40 percent increase in 7 UP advertising awareness and a 142 percent increase in unaided brand awareness with 12- to-24-year olds, through August, compared with the same period in 1999. Sales volume is up 1.8 percent through August, in ACNielsen measured channels, and has increased in four consecutive quarters. For the year 7 UP volume is up twice the carbonated soft drink category and is outpacing its lemon-lime competitors in volume and market share gains.

Due to the Screen Actors Guild labor dispute, the 2001 Make 7 UP Yours advertising has not been shot, although all of the storyboards have been finalized. 7 UP television media buys for 2001 include ESPN college basketball championship week and MTV spring break, both in March; Super Bowl XXXV programming in January; the Grammy Awards in February; MTV movie awards in June; and a myriad of cable and broadcast network programming such as The Drew Carey Show, The Simpsons, Malcolm In The Middle, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Two Guys and A Girl and many others that appeal to the 12- to 24-year-old demographic. 7 UP television advertising exposure in 2001 will exceed the record level of 2000.

"We are looking forward to bigger and better results from Make 7 UP Yours advertising in 2001," declared Clarke. "For the millions of people who loved our 2000 campaign, they won't be disappointed in 2001. Stay tuned and strap yourself in."

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

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