Since 2008, Dr Pepper has committed to changing lives by giving away millions of dollars in tuition.

The Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway has been one of the brand’s biggest and most successful programs every year, and in 2013 Dr Pepper Snapple Group tasked Code and Theory to make the program even bigger and even more successful.

The concept behind the program was right—with the challenges of rising tuition costs and studying full-time, students can use all the help they can get to achieve their goals. So, based on what we know about digital and social media’s roles in the lives of Dr Pepper fans, we reassessed the expression of that concept and set out to improve upon it.

Working closely with a cross-functional internal team, Facebook, and client parents, we re-engineered the program to be social at its core.

First, we designed the site to render beautifully and quickly regardless of device, so that our consumers could interact with the site no matter where they were coming from.

Second, we simplified the entry mechanic, allowing contestants to engage the program with a simple text entry, as opposed to a more burdensome video upload.

Lastly, we wove seamless sharing throughout the program, such that every action—whether it was entering, nominating, or voting—created an automatic share and increased organic awareness of the program overall.

As a result, the 2013 Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway has been the brand’s most successful iteration of the program to date. By re-engineering the digital experience with social media behaviors at its core, we successfully increased site visits by 564 percent and audience votes by a staggering 9,901 percent, as compared to the program's performance in 2012.