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Advertising analysis – 7UP Time


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What can you learn from a soft drink?

Well, for starters, you can learn how to build a huge industrial empire from a nutritionally worthless collection of air, water, and chemicals. Surely, never in the history of American industry such an unnecessary product would have made so much profit.

You can also learn about the significance of advertising. Soft drinks would not have gone from curious afterthought to supermarket mainstay and cultural powerhouse without powerful and effective advertising.

Throughout its years of manufacturing and marketing, Coca Cola, Pepsi-Cola and 7UP have always been the three soft drink brands leading the pack – although 7UP got left behind in the "Cola Wars" of the 1960s and 1970s and other lemon-lime alternatives consistently secured 3rd place for most of the 20th century.

In 1967, 7UP introduced the UNCOLA advertising campaign, which sent 7UP sales rocketing nationwide. The tag immediately became popular and remained synonymous with 7UP, despite subsequent new slogans.

In the late 1980s, 7UP introduced Cool Spot, which was the anthropomorphic red dot in the 7UP trademark. Spot rapidly became a popular character represented on licensed items throughout the nation and he also spawned a video game which reigned as the best corporate ad game in the history of video games.

I remember 7UP from the time of Fido Dido, which replaced Cool Spot as the brand mascot in the 1990s. The fact that a simple character with a triangular face and eight locks of stand-up hair could dominate the era is proof that simple creativity works.

These simple mascots that ruled our generation and actually had an impact at that time have faded away with time but will definitely remain figures that are going to be remembered by those who lived through those days when life was simple.

Nowadays, all concepts do is complicate the simple things in life. A single campaign has so many contradictions within itself that the product itself ends up losing its identity. The new 7UP ‘Simple Ji, 7UP Pi’ campaign is one such example.

In the 7UP Entertainment Refreshment commercial, it shows the callousness of life that the dramas of today show. And then they make the statement ‘Inn dramon ka chat khara hazam nahi hua na? - Life ka channel on kar key jio’.

In its second Time Refreshment commercial, it actually shows what a person’s ‘life channel’ is all about, which is apparently not very different from the ‘dramon ka chatkhara’. Sadly, in one’s ‘life-channel’, work deadlines, parents and life partners are portrayed as issues. Here they suggest ‘Thora apnay liyey waqt nikaal ke ji’.

So what exactly is happening here? One message is clearly contradicting the other and both are part of the same campaign. Bottom-line is that one should shove every issue in life to one side, sit back and relax and live for themselves.

It is no more that refreshing product that made life entertaining with a soda-bubble firing character or with a gawky character sketch that would come to life. It is not that drink that once used to uplift you but a mere excuse to get away from one’s real life. What does this product do now? Make you indifferent about your real life dilemmas? There will certainly always remain a difference between concepts that are internationally renowned and those that are only targeting our local market, but the point is that those concepts were simple and memorable without them having to say so. Ironically, their ‘Simple Ji’ mantra just isn’t so simple anymore.

So if it’s not about making profit or effective advertising anymore, it makes me come back to my question – what can you really learn from a soft drink?


The writer is a New Media Design Manager at

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The writer is a Multimedia Producer at She tweets @mejmankani

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (11) Closed

abasyn Sep 03, 2012 07:45am
Why would media delve into these details of their sponsors...
K. Shahzad Sep 03, 2012 12:43pm
You are mistaken here syed. Cola always costs more than water. I am talking big brands here.
Amrah Sep 01, 2012 02:44pm
You are doing a good job by highlighting the advertising blunders of our times. :)
Syed Sep 02, 2012 09:55pm
I have commented this but it does not go online, I hope this one does, does anyone ever wonder why a bottle of cola, which takes god knows what to produce, cost way less than a bottle of water? hmm? anyone? why they make cola affordable and water expensive? when it cost only 5p to produce, and the water is used to make cola? enlighten us please ...
emran Sep 01, 2012 12:49am
in a country where the most popular sport is sponsored by unhealthy surgery drink pepziiiii...should take precedent over 7up if u gonna write about it. evry cricket "hero" is seen gulping down pepzii thn going on to hit majestic sixes. who chugs sodas after excruciating workout is outlandish to say the least....tht's y people don't take commercials seriously in pakistan coz they r absurd.
Junaid Sep 03, 2012 05:03am
Why DAWN has to help 7up increase their sales?
Azhar Sep 01, 2012 06:38am
I find this blog to be very informative, though I do not agree with the views mentioned in the later part concerning "Simple ji". My daughters at the age of 7 and 4, like the "copy" so much that the moment the TVC runs, they start saying "simple ji, 7up pi", which shows that the campaign has worked. The basic idea / purpose behind any brand's campaign is to ensure brand recognition and, I feel, the 'copy' from the recently run TVC has played its part, as far as my children are concerned. As a whole, the blogger has provided very useful information about the overall brand evolution of 7up. Nicely written.
Abdus Salam Khan Sep 01, 2012 05:17pm
I live in the U.S.A and since I have seen the disastrous results of these obesity-causing fizzy drinks on our future generations, I forbid entry of these colas/7ups in my house. But come summer time, when the medical advice is to avoid getting dehydrated, I go for Diet 7UP, because that is the only way to make a drink platable. it is hard to down a glass of plain tap water, but one would readily gulp down a glassful of bubbly in one go. At 99 cents for a two litre bottle, it is cheaper than mineral water. Advertising or no advertising, it does serve a purpose,especially in summer time! So, like the jean, the jersey and the jogger, it has become a part of American way of life,as it does offer a utility at a reasonable price, whilst adding a moment of bubbly euphoria to our everyday humdrum lfie.
Syed Sep 02, 2012 10:03pm
... and the research is showing diet cause more trouble than non-diet cause diet uses artificial sweetner which is worst than whatever they put in's amazing to see colas on table during lunch and dinners instead of water, that is "water" for most. I got a portable cooler in my 4x4 and it's has nothing but water and couple of gatorades during summer time and no one likes to go with me on a long drive or hikes cause they think my cooler is boring.
shiza Sep 01, 2012 07:36pm
i don't think so Mr.Imran
shiza Sep 01, 2012 07:55pm
Basically advertising agencies many times exaggerate things about our products beside that, side affects appear when we use those goods,anyways advertisement job is to enhance the qualities not the bad picture but in our society we inhale specially our kids absorb negative points and look like that commercial hero's.