McKayla Maroney is an Olympic athlete who won a silver medal during her appearance in the London Olympic Games. I point out that fact because it now appears that more people view Maroney as a girl with an annoying smirk rather than an impressive world class athlete.
When Maroney finally won her silver medal, the smirk on her face during the award ceremony became an almost instant meme. Suddenly there was literally nothing that could impress the young woman including a chance to meet the President of the United States.
By turning something that could have been embarrassing into something that people around the world now recognize, Maroney has made herself a very marketable commodity outside the gym. The Postgame reports that the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group has just signed Maroney to a new endorsement deal.
The ad campaign consists of making public appearances as well as social media mention of a new line of sodas that the company is preparing to officially unveil.
The company is rolling out new versions of five soft drinks that are already on the market, but this time they will all only be 10 calories per can.
Not quite a diet drink and not quite a regular soda, the Dr. Pepper Snapple group is putting out 10 calorie versions of 7Up, A&W, Canada Dry, RC, and Sunkist. These new drinks will be joining Dr. Pepper Ten, which has been on the market for a little while.
The purpose of the campaign is to show that these soft drinks have finally done something that being in the situation room during the final hunt for Osama Bin Laden could not. McKayla Maroney will turn her smirk upside down and appear impressed.
While Maroney won’t officially appear in advertisements for the drinks, she will be making a personal appearance at Penn Station in New York on Thursday of this week. The young gymnast will appear in a section of the station that will be renamed Ten Station.
For a few hours, fans will be able to come try out one of the new drinks including 7Up Ten and have their pictures taken with Maroney and her “Impressed Face.”
Regan Ebert, senior vice president for marketing at Dr Pepper Snapple, told the New York Times that the company wants to “leverage the meme” and turn it on its head. Ms. Ebert added that:
“What we’re hoping is the fact she’s finally impressed will get digital buzz across the Internet.”
While Maroney not appearing in any print or television ads could undercut what the company is trying to do, the gymnast has already taken to Twitter to start the campaign. It didn’t take long for her tweeting to drum up a little business for 7Up Ten as her followers looked to jump on the new soda’s bandwagon.
@mckaylamaroney @7up 7up is pretty great. Maybe I’ll give this stuff a try
— McKayla Fan (@McKaylaFan1) February 26, 2013
McKayla Maroney’s fee has not been announced. What we do know is that, over the next few months, the Dr. Pepper Snapple group will spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 million on a media blitz aimed at getting the ten calorie sodas more attention.