The following is from the April 25, 2007, edition of MSNBC News.

Dr Pepper turns again to music for sales

DALLAS - Most Americans over 40 can probably recall a commercial jingle from the late 1970s that told them, “Be a Pepper, drink Dr Pepper.”

The maker of Dr Pepper is turning again to music to help sell soda, but in a way that shows how both music and advertising have changed in a generation.

Dr Pepper is paying an undisclosed amount to have a pop-punk band live and work in a transparent bubble on New York’s touristy Pier 54 for 20 days. Cameras will record the members of Cartel as they write and record a new CD. . .

Product placement goes back at least to 1982 and “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” said Daniel J. Howard, chairman of the marketing department at Southern Methodist University’s business school. The movie’s title character was an alien that devoured Reese’s Pieces.

Short of turning off the set, viewers in the ’70s couldn’t skip over that spot of a clean-cut guy dancing and singing his way through “Be a Pepper.” They can now.

“We’re bombarded with commercials. People blow them off. They skip them on TiVo,” Howard said. “You won’t be able to filter this out.”

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