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Dr Pepper Social Program

How Code and Theory turned Dr Pepper's die-hards into high-value consumers.

In 2010, Dr Pepper came to Code and Theory with a challenge: Get Dr Pepper consumers to reach for the brand more often.

So, we set out on a mission to build an audience of millions who could be driven to higher purchase frequency.

Our goal? Reignite fan passion and, in turn, drive sales.

01 REIGNITING OUR FANBASE

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2010 and ‘11 were significant growth years for Dr Pepper social media.

The Facebook fan base alone grew to 10.9 million by the end of 2011, but interaction rates had started to plateau. So, we set out to reignite fan passion through three key behaviors:

CHAMPION THE PEPPER STYLE – Every brand has die-hard loyalists, but Dr Pepper's show a passion that most brands can only wish for. Dr Pepper is not like any other soda and it's not for everybody. But the ones who love it are fanatical, and proudly wear it as a badge. So we started sharing content that was inspired by our fans or even made by them.

We expressed exactly what our fans were feeling and thinking through language and imagery familiar to them. "Champion the Pepper Lifestyle" became the foundation of our social strategy and we still use it to this day.

Every piece of content we posted to social stemmed from a core brand belief that one-of-a-kinds truly make the world a better place. This way, we were able to atomize our content into multiple story streams that could play out through a variety of creative executions throughout the year.

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SPEAK THE LANGuAGE OF THE INTERNET – At the same time, we also knew that heavy digital users comprised a large part of our fanbase, and that showing Internet savvy and observing web etiquette could convert them to brand advocates. We built this relationship by anticipating Internet trends and putting a "one-of-a-kind" spin on them as they were happening in real time.

INSERT THE BRAND INTO POP CULTURE – In order to keep our content fresh and relevant on a daily basis, we adopted a newsroom approach and referenced relevant trends, big moments in pop culture, and major events—and posted these messages while they were still hot topics of conversation.

What's more, our adaptive content consistently ranked as some of the most engaged in the field.

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02 The Results

We set out to drive sales through consumption frequency, with a strategy of building up a following and building a relationship with them through high-frequency, high-value content. The results couldn’t be better.

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But most important, we have driven sales through social media. A study by Datalogix concluded that consumers were taking 35% more trips to the store to buy Dr Pepper after they became a fan of the brand on Facebook.

In November 2013, Forrester Research awarded the program first place in the Social Relationship category of the prestigious Groundswell Awards competition, which honors excellence in the effective use of social media to advance a business goal. In March 2013, the program was a finalist in The Shorty Awards for Best Use of Social Media for a Consumer Brand.

In the end, we reignited fan passion and more. We continue to reinvent Dr Pepper’s presence on social media, drive engagement with our followers in an authentic way, and drive in-store sales—making Dr Pepper one of the most valuable programs in all of social media today.

In addition to acquiring almost 16 million fans to-date, we helped Dr Pepper increase fan engagement 64% from 2011 to 2012, and another 46% from 2012 to 2013 so far.

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