Dr Pepper is the first official college football championship partner and presenting sponsor of the new National Championship trophy, and now, the beverage brand's "One of a Kind" campaign is designed to fully integrate and capitalize on this sponsorship deal.
Developed by Deutsch LA, the initiative centers around the character Larry Culpepper, a longtime Dr Pepper “concessions guy” with a deep-rooted passion for college football. Essentially, Larry serves as a stand-in for fans to get them excited about games and this new football playoff system.
"Our goal was to create the ultimate college football fan, someone who shares Dr Pepper’s passion for College Football in a unique and relatable way," says Ryan Lehr, Creative Director, Deutsch LA. "Relatable, because anybody who has spent any time around sports has known a 'Larry Culpepper.' A self-proclaimed 'expert' who loves nothing more than to talk about the game with anyone who will listen.
“We also wanted to give Larry the unique [point-of-view] that with the first year of the College Football Playoff it truly is a one of a kind season and Larry would argue, "the first season that really counts."
As part of the narrative, the “Meet Larry” spot - airing nationally and online - conveys his excitement after having seen all there is to see when it comes to college football, until now. This season ushers in the one thing he hasn’t seen, which is a college football playoff. The spot ends with Larry declaring this season the first and only one that counts.
Then, Dr Pepper will release additional spots featuring Larry where he will discuss relevant topics, such as exploring the new Selection Committee and more information about the new National Championship trophy, which is presented by Dr Pepper.
Later this season, “Larry on the Field” spots will show him chatting up players after using his role as a Dr Pepper vendor to get on the sidelines.
Although Larry seems like a regular person, he is actually a paid actor and these are scripted spots. The campaign was directed by Caviar Content’s Jonathan Krisel, director and co-creator of the IFC series, Portlandia.
The campaign includes TV, digital, social media, and is expected to deliver over two billion media impressions across both traditional and digital media platforms.
At the same time, Dr Pepper is integrating its tuition giveaway program with ESPN properties this year.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group declines to break out ad spend by category. However, 2Q 2014 marketing spend represented 7.8% of second quarter sales, slightly ahead of its full year target of 7.5%, according to company financial results. Thus far, the company's marketing spend has declined $18 million year-over-year, which executives explain is the result of launching the new brand Ten last year.
Deutsch LA has worked with Dr Pepper since 2008.