Dr Pepper Just Relaunched A Fruity Flavor, But There's A Catch

Like any brand that counts young people as one of its most important demographics, Dr Pepper has done its part to keep the kids interested. For the soda conglomerate, that means having a quippy and irreverent social media presence that's just as referential to memes and contemporary pop culture as the majority of its core audience. Dr Pepper's Twitter page reads a bit like that of your average metaverse-adept teen, with recent ad lib-seeming one-liners like "Does AI deserve a virtual Dr Pepper? Need to know for R&D" and "Fighting the midwest urge to call Dr Pepper 'pop.'" 

In 2019, Dr Pepper's blend of 23 flavors got a refresh when the brand released its first new flavor in five years (via Thrillist): the limited-edition Dark Berry, which was timed with the blockbuster release of "Spider-Man: Far From Home." The brand took to Twitter to share the announcement, referencing the franchise's theme song with the words, "Spider-Man. Spider-Man. Dr Pepper has exclusive cans." The Daily Meal called it "the year's best new soda," praising its notes of blackberry, black currant, and black cherry.

Now, the flavor is back on shelves and this time it's hitching its wagon to a figure even more unexpected than Spider-Man: Barry Manilow. In the Tuesday Twitter announcement starring the "Copacabana" singer, Dr Pepper let its social media team shine once again with a joke about the flavor's target audience.

Only Barrys can drink Dark Berry?

Dr Pepper's Twitter campaign for the return of its Dark Berry flavor certainly kept with the brand's aforementioned irreverent approach. "Dark Berry is back. But only if your name is Barry," reads one tweet. "Tbh it almost makes too much sense," they add, revealing that anyone can, in fact, crack open a can of Dark Berry. Beneath that post, a retweet displays a cheeky promotional video shared by Barry Manilow, captioned, "I'm excited to announce that Dr Pepper Dark Berry is back — but only for people named Barry! Like me." The video shows the singer donning a purple sports coat behind a piano on a swanky nightclub stage. "If your name is Lola, Rico, Tony, or, of course, Mandy," he jests, "no Dark Berry for you."

It seems fated that Dark Berry's re-release also aligns with the third season of the Bill Hader-helmed dark comedy "Barry," which just premiered on HBO Max this week. We have no idea if that was intentional on the part of Dr Pepper, but either way, it's worth noting again that you don't actually have to be named Barry to enjoy the soda's fruity flavor.