The Reason Why Sprite No Longer Has The Slogan Obey Your Thirst

When SpriteĀ launched its iconic "Obey Your Thirst" slogan in 1994, the aim was to hitch their marketing fortunes to the burgeoning and influential world of hip-hop music. Their association with the genre began in the 1980s when they debuted a commercial with rapper Curtis Blow promoting Sprite and dissingĀ 7UP. The tagline focused largely on the music side of things, including ads that showed hip-hop artists such as Grand Puba and Large Professor slinging freestyle raps in the studio. In 2015, Sprite introduced a campaign called "Obey Your Verse" during which they released a series of limited-edition cans inscribed with lyrics to famous rappers' songs, including heavy hitters such as Nas, Drake, Rakim, and the Notorious B.I.G.

Then in 2019, Sprite's advertising team created a replacement for the Obey Your Thirst catchphrase, but not because sales were slumping. The soft drink's revenue had actually increased the previous year. So why mess with a slogan that's still earning you a profit?

The evolution of hip-hop's influence on society

Sprite changed its slogan to "Thirst for Yours" in June 2019 to reflect the overall influence of hip-hop culture on our society, in wide-ranging fields encompassing fashion, design, art, film, and photography. Hip-hop music would still be a big part of Sprite's image, but it would highlight these other hip-hop tastemakers as well, promoting designers and artists in addition to musicians. One of the campaign's initial TV spots featured a promising young fashion designer named Seth Giscombe.

The new shift in marketing strategy was geared toward appealing to the younger demographic of Sprite drinkers that comprise the bulk of their target audience, as explained by Sprite group director Aaliyah Shafiq (via Coca-Cola). Giscombe was actually still attending college when he first appeared in Sprite commercials. With that youthful approach in mind, they also amped up their social media presence and began enlisting the endorsements of social media influencers. Earlier that same year in March, staying true to its musical hip-hop roots, Sprite introduced Sprite Way, a community-generated Spotify playlist and podcast that plays fan recommendations from emerging unsigned hip-hop artists.