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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Dr Pepper, Use of Memes for Social

Entered in Meme, GIF, & Emojis


Dr Pepper, the oldest major soft drink in America, has been a one-of-a-kind brand since its inception in 1885. We’re still one-of-a-kind on all accounts: flavor profiles, brand values, and most importantly, fandom.

In a world where both average consumers and die-hard fans are inundated with content on a deluge of social channels, we need to make sure our one-of-a-kind nature comes through to both match that fandom and stoke it in a way that feels native to the type of content users expect or want to see from brands—content with more humor and relatability, and that’s not so

Strategy and Execution

To feel relatable and less ad-like to our fans, we run our page primarily like a meme-page that is run by a Dr Pepper fan. The ability to lean into memes allows us to play with different meme formats, whether those are traditional memes with text on the top and bottom of an image or memes that we create on our own that take into account the humor of what we see on the internet.

We use these memes to communicate important brand news like collabs with Peeps, quarterly updates to rewards in our loyalty program, adapting moments from our TV spots to bring them to social in a way that feels native, promoting specific flavors, and even just highlighting the holistic brand love that our fans have for Dr Pepper.

This approach to content allowed us to create 84 organic assets on Instagram in 2023.


Despite the ever-changing algorithm and shrinking organic reach, our content breaks through to our fans. We consistently saw our posts receive more engagements on average in 2023 due to the desire of our fans to be just that—fans who love to see their fandom represented in authentic ways and want to share their love with their own audiences.

And our social performance tells the story and shows how this approach really resonates. We continuously see growth in our engagement year over year heavily influenced by our meme-inspired content with a 33% year-over-year growth from 2022, even while testing new content ideas each quarter. In fact, many of our top performers in 2023 were our memes. We were also flattered to see that non-Dr-Pepper-related meme accounts have reposted memes that we’ve created to their own channels, trying to pass them off as their own.

Key highlights from 2023 include:
● Total of 11.2MM organic impressions and 1.3MM organic engagements on Instagram in 2023
● Evergreen and timely meme content performs on par with or above flavor drops and new product announcements , which historically have been top engagement drivers for the brand
● 11.7% increase in new followers on Instagram, now at 688K
● We saw +54% impressions and +71% engagement on the average Instagram post in 2023 vs. 2022
● We’ve optimized our content each quarter by testing out different types of memecontent to determine what performs well and turned those into series that consistently perform over benchmark.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Deutsch LA, Dr Pepper


Entry Credits