Flashback Friday – The "Uncola"

Blog post by: Alex Young, Intern at Baer Performance Marketing
There is no better way to show your rebellious, stick-it-to-the-man style than by – drinking 7-Up?
It may seem a little out of the ordinary now but this Flashback Friday we will be taking a look at 7-Up’s “Uncola” advertising campaign!
What does it mean to be uncola? Let’s break it down:

Un-: Not

Cola: a carbonated soft drink colored usually with caramel and flavored usually with extracts from kola nuts

So uncola is not a carbonated soft drink colored with caramel and flavored with extracts from kola nuts, seems like a pretty solid positioning strategy. Wait a second – no it doesn’t. Why would consumers buy into drinking uncola?
Drinking an “Uncola” is as much about defining who you are as it is about finding a beverage to go with your hamburger.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s 7-Up teamed with J. Walter Thompson to create the “Uncola” campaign. The purpose was to mimic the rebellion that characterized much of popular culture and society, specifically targeting the growing youth market.
Here are a couple examples of advertisements used to show a product that was as different from colas as teenagers were from “The Establishment”:

The “Uncola” campaign aligned perfectly with the target market and proved incredibly successful; in one year sales of 7-Up went up 56 percent! By taking time to carefully craft a message that echoed with the audience J. Walter Thompson wasable to create one of the most successful soft drink advertising campaigns.

Traditionally a campaign has a tendency of being successful for sales or successfully remembered but seldom is a campaign both.

But “Untraditional is 7-Up Tradition.”