Summer's here and Sprite is bringing back its Obey Your Verse Lyrical Collection, featuring limited-edition packaging adorned with 16 song lyrics from , and .
"We wanted to make sure we identified artists who represented our point of view of staying true to yourself, artists who stay true to who they are and what they want to represent. And we wanted a nice balance of artists that have longevity in hip hop and some with more recent appeal," , director of Sprite & Citrus Brands, Coca-Cola North America, tells .
The campaign, which launches later this month, features lyrics from songs including 2Pac's "Keep Ya Head Up," "When We Ride" and "Wake Me When I'm Free"; Elliott's "WTF (Where They From)" and "Hot Boyz"; and J. Cole's "Grown Simba" and "Love Yourz" on 12- and 16-ounce cans, 20-ounce bottles, and 12-, 20- and 24-packs of 12-ounce cans.
"We wanted lyrics that are inspirational to our core fans, and something that can deliver a positive message and uplift people as they engage in the brand," he says.
Last year's inaugural Verse campaign, a spin on the beverage's Obey Your Thirst slogan that debuted in 1994, featured , , and Oliver said feedback from the launch informed this year's artist selection.
"The big takeaway for us coming out of last year was how excited fans were about us staying true to the genre and paying homage to the heritage of hip hop. Choosing classic artists as well as current artists led to our credibility," Oliver notes, adding of this year's inclusion of 2Pac: "It's important for us to have an artist like that because of what he's represented to music and the art form. Having a heavyweight like him is important to the program."
This year's campaign also features a new tech enhancement. Fans can use their mobile phones to access the Sprite brand from June 20 through Aug. 15, snap a photo of each can and unlock a Sprite product offer, earn a music reward, and be entered for a chance to win autographed music memorabilia and a VIP concert experience.
Obey Your Verse returns as sister beverage brand Coke is in the midst of its own lyrics-centric Share a Coke and a Song campaign. "We work closely with the Coca Cola brand team," he says. "We each have a unique role to individually capture the lyrics that makes the most sense for our brand. Our fans believe the music we are celebrating represents who they are."
Sprite's relationship with hip hop culture continues to evolve from 30 years ago when it debuted an ad featuring Kurtis Blow to engagement with artists including, & C.L. Smooth, , and.
"In the ‘80s we were in the forefront and taking a subculture and pushing it into the mainstream culture. We embraced the genre early on, when no other brand from a corporate perspective was doing that," Oliver says. "Continuing it through the years is critically important to us. Honest self-expression is what hip hop is all about and the piece of it we found very meaningful to the Sprite brand as well."
The program will be supported with a marketing campaign including TV, outdoor, radio, digital, social, in-store advertising and an integration during the BET Experience @ L.A. Live, June 23-25. Outdoor ads will feature the likeness of each Obey Your Verse artist along with their respective packaging. A 30-second broadcast spot will debut in late June and include an appearance from Rakim.
The lyrics from Sprite’s second “Obey Your Verse” campaign are as follows:
Tupac – “Embrace my words make the world change” – from Scarface’s “Smile” off The Untouchable
Tupac – “I’ll learn from mistakes and try 2 achieve again” – from If I Fail poem
Tupac – “Please wake me when I’m free” – from “Wake Me When I’m Free” off The Rose That Grew From Concrete Vol. 1
Tupac – “Keep ya head up” – from “Keep Ya Head Up” off Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
Tupac – “The gift of speech the power to reach” – from “When We Ride” off All Eyez On Me
Tupac – “If you fall stand tall and come back for more” – from “Keep Ya Head Up” off Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
Missy Elliott – “I won’t settle for less” – from “Hot Boyz” off Da Real World
Missy Elliott – “Cause the beat’s so cold” – from “WTF” single
Missy Elliott – “Me I’m supa fly, supa dupa fly” – from “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” from Supa Dupa Fly
Missy Elliott – “How they do it where you from?” – from “WTF” single
Missy Elliott – “Talk with it, walk with it, I’m no gimmick” – from “9th Inning” single
J. Cole – “Goodbye to the bottom, hello to the top” – from “Grown Simba” single
J. Cole – “Love Yourz” – from “Love Yourz” off 2014 Forest Hills Drive
J. Cole – “We ain’t picture perfect, but we worth the picture still” – from “Crooked Smile” off Born Sinner
J. Cole – “I got a dollar and a dream” – from “Dollar and a Dream III” off Cole World: The Sideline Story
J. Cole – “You gotta dream like you never seen obstacles” – from “The Autograph” off Friday Night Lights