Dr Pepper, Plano, Texas, marked its 125th anniversary by ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange yesterday afternoon. The ceremonial ringing kicks off a year of activities marking the soft drink’s historic milestone, including the brand’s first commercial during the Super Bowl.
In addition to the Feb. 7 advertisement featuring members of the rock band KISS, Dr Pepper also plans to offer downloadable content for consumers on its Web site, drpepper.com, as well as engaging with fans via Facebook and Twitter.
“We always try to connect with our consumers in a meaningful way, so we’re thrilled to celebrate our 125th birthday with our fans all year long,” said Tony Jacobs, vice president of marketing for Dr Pepper, in a statement. “We want Dr Pepper-lovers everywhere to know that we are committed to providing the same great taste experience that they’ve come to expect from Dr Pepper for many years to come.”
The drink was first introduced in 1885 by Charles Alderton at the Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas. After spreading around local soda fountains, the syrup known as the “Waco,” was introduced to the nation at the 1904 World’s Fair Exposition in St. Louis. Over the years, the brand has grown to include Diet Dr Pepper and the most recent addition of Dr Pepper Cherry.
“Dr Pepper has an unrivaled taste and a maverick spirit,” Jacobs said. “Starting out 125 years ago as a regional drink, Dr Pepper has expanded into a revered national brand by connecting with consumers because of its unique taste and the brand’s dedication to making emotional connections with its consumers.”
Dr Pepper Snapple Group also announced its three-year challenge grant in support of the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco, Texas. The company will match funds for the museum up to $250,000 per year for the next three years. Its goal is the raise $1.5 million by the end of 2012.
“Dr Pepper Snapple Group has long entrusted treasured artifacts and the history of many of its brands to the museum,” said Larry Young, president and chief executive officer of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, in a statement. “The continued success of the museum is instrumental in telling our brands’ stories now, and for generations to come.”
The Dr Pepper Museum educates and entertains through the collection, preservation, interpretation and exhibition of objects relevant to the history of the soft drink industry. The museum attracts more than 60,000 visitors each year. Donations will be collected at the museum’s Web site, www.drpeppermuseum.com.