Being “one of a kind” is paying off for Dr. Pepper – with a new ad campaign and reports of other leading soda brands containing a carcinogenic ingredient, Dr. Pepper’s consumer quality perception has passed the slumping Coke with adults 18 – 34 in the US for the first time since July 2010.
Dr. Pepper rolled out its new uplifting musical campaign both on TV and online in mid-January, striking a chord for individualism with the tagline “Always One Of A Kind.” The soft drink maker also hopped on the summer movie sponsorship bandwagon early, announcing a month ago a set of special Dr. Pepper drinking classes tying in with the forthcoming blockbuster “The Avengers” on the film’s theater trailer.
Meanwhile, the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s early March report suggesting that higher than acceptable levels of the carcinogenic ingredient 4-methylimidazole in Coke and Pepsi seems to have impacted Coke’s (although not Pepsi’s) quality perception, setting the stage for Dr. Pepper to pass it to take the number two spot in the soft drink category on the Quality metric (Sprite has the #1 position). Although the entire soda sector has been in quality perception decline since 2008 with the adult 18 – 34 demo, Dr. Pepper and Coke still track substantially above the soda sector average in quality perception.
Dr. Pepper, Coke and the soda sector were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Quality score, which asks respondents: "Is it high quality or low quality?" The soda sector includes products such as Canada Dry, 7UP, A&W , Crush, Mountain Dew, and others.
YouGov BrandIndex measurement scores range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.
Dr. Pepper began is move up with adults 18 – 34 in mid-January with a 24 quality score that slowly ascended as the “Always One Of A Kind” campaign kicked in. Almost two months later, Dr. Pepper passed Coke, which had a 39 score. Dr. Pepper is currently at 44, while Coke is a few points behind it at 41. The current quality score average for the soda sector is 17.