It is no secret that I HEART Dr Pepper (just go read “the team” page). I mean, you can’t really call yourself my friend if you don’t know how much I love 23 flavors. This week, my heart fractured a little (okay, a lot) because the company I’ve come to know did a really, terrible, no good thing. It’s all over the news. Even Texas Monthly has been hounding DPS (the Dr Pepper/Snapple Group). Dublin Dr Pepper (the alternative to the high-fructose corn syrup option in mainstream stores/restaurants) will be no more. There’s a great little town in Texas, Dublin, that’s been bottling the stuff forever. They use the good stuff, imperial sugar, instead of the HFCS. It is like tasting heaven. Yeah, you can get versions of it other places, but nobody bottles it better than Dublin. If you can believe it, they love Dr Pepper more than I do. And that’s saying a lot.
When I was in college, I took an advertising class. Our first campaign research project? Dr Pepper. (oh and that’s no “.” after the “Dr”) I’M A PEPPER baby. Always have been. I have the t-shirts, coffee mug and mousepad to prove it. In fact, this was my favorite Christmas present from the hubster this year:
In that college class, I totally rocked the A. I can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Dr Pepper. How it came to be, why it’s different than all the rest. It definitely tastes better than that **** Pepsi makes and Coke doesn’t even come close. DP is in a league of its own. It’s a cult following. People don’t settle for Dr Pepper, it is their drink of choice. Dublin Dr Pepper is for those of us that really love 23 flavors. I believe, and I know there are many who support me in this theory/fact, that you don’t truly love the Dr Pepper brand unless your first love is Dublin Dr Pepper. Oh yeah, I threw down the guantlet.
I don’t usually write letters to companies about a product. In fact, I’ve written several in my head, but never one on paper. This morning I woke up and I was still in denial. Dublin can’t be going away. The DPS group isn’t really going to trample on a town that gave its heart and soul to a carbonated beverage. They wouldn’t do that. Would they? That’s just so heartless, so un-DrPepper-ish. I recognize there were some legal issues. But surely somebody over there has enough smarts to FIGURE. IT. OUT.
In a moment of total disheartenment, I wrote this email to DPS this morning.
“Shame on you, Dr Pepper, for letting big business drive your decisions and closing down the Dublin Bottling Co. plant’s ability to bottle Dublin Dr Pepper. You know, I started drinking Dr Pepper in high school and I’ve been your biggest fan ever since. Seriously. I loved that you were a big company without the big business mentality. You tasted better than any other drink and operated with a small-town feel. That’s what I’ve always loved about the DP brand. Until this week, when you acted like all the rest. I can appreciate there were legal implications, but you couldn’t work it out? Really? You’ve enraged a loyal following of Dr Pepper drinkers everywhere and I’m one of them. Quite honestly, I could care less if you bottle the same drink with the same taste. The drink is nothing without the plant that orginated it. It’s a slap in the face really. I’m not stupid enough, nor are millions of other Dr Pepper fans, to overlook the principle that was violated. It’s not the drink we love, silly, it’s the company. And, sadly, that company no longer exists. So much for brand loyalty.
I realize I’m just one customer. But, I’m a customer with a blog, a twitter account, a pinterest account and a facebook page. Who knows, maybe this whole thing will go viral, you’ll “get the message” and figure out a way to make it work. To bring back a brand people love and reinstate your reputation as the big league drink with the small-town feel. Maybe.”
I’ll probably get some form email back, maybe even a form letter. But, maybe, just maybe this whole story will generate some traction and encourage DPS to rethink their decision. To figure out a way to make it work. I’m still hopeful. I’m an Aggie, remember? We are the kings of lost causes. I’ve even asked St. Jude, the patron saint of impossible causes, to intervene. One never knows.
I’m just trying to figure out what to do with the Dublin Dr Pepper still sitting in my garage fridge. Drink it or throw it in the trash? And all those other Dr Pepper cans of my beloved 23 flavors? Sigh. What a crummy, terrible, no good thing of Dr Pepper to do.
[ walks off stage ]