Summer Campaign Honors Hip-Hop’s 50th Anniversary By Teaming Up With Some Of The Genre’s Biggest Stars

Sprite, a brand that has championed hip-hop culture for more than 35 years, will celebrate the groundbreaking genre’s 50th anniversary this summer with a buzzworthy TV spot starring a crew of living legends and rising stars, a new limited-edition flavor, sponsorship of one of the year’s most anticipated concert tours, and a series of exclusive merch and experience drops.

Nas, Rakim, Latto, and GloRilla will star in fresh Sprite creative, paying tribute to the past, present, and future of hip-hop. A remix of The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” – the first-ever hip-hop song to hit the Billboard Top 40 – is infused with memorable bars from the cast of old-schoolers and contemporary artists and anchors the campaign with a rapping, time-traveling love letter to the music that has shaped popular culture over the last five decades.

A.P. Chaney, creative director for Sprite North America, said the brand’s hip-hop credentials are unmatched.

“Our resume speaks for itself,” Chaney said. “Sprite took a chance on hip-hop before it was cool, and has always been of the culture, not only for the culture. We’ve shown up for both moments big and small, amplifying the endless possibilities of the now-omnipresent hip-hop lifestyle and its profound impact on music, sports, and fashion. So it’s only fitting that we pay homage to all hip-hop has been, is, and will be.”

Just as the campaign will honor hip-hop history, the new limited-time-only Sprite Lymonade Legacy is a remixed nod to the OG lemon-lime refresher. Sprite’s take on strawberry lemonade, which was inspired by fan requests on social media, offers a delicious combination of tried-and-true and something new. Lymonade Legacy will be available in a range of packages at retailers nationwide, and exclusively in fountain and frozen formats at 7-Eleven stores.

Summer of Drops

The packaging for the original Sprite and Lymonade Legacy will feature a fresh design celebrating 50 years of hip-hop. The look takes cues from summer and the crisp, refreshing taste of Sprite as well as boomboxes, studio mixers, and other tech tools synonymous with hip-hop’s journey.

Fans can scan on-pack QR codes on both products throughout the summer to access digital “drop shops” with hundreds of giveaways. Prizes include exclusive content featuring Latto and Rakim, covetable merch including autographed Nas hats, GloRilla tour tees, a Latto gold mic, and Rakim directorial slates from the TVC shoot.

“Our Summer of Drops focuses on our fans’ passion points – music, fashion, art and entertainment – and draws inspiration from sneakerhead drop culture,” said Aaliyah Shafiq Ely, VP, sparkling flavors category. “The diverse array of prizes offers something for everyone to get excited about, and our overall campaign is the latest example of Sprite responding to what fans want with both experiences and products.”

Premier experiential giveaways include Rolling Loud Lifetime Passes and meet-and-greet tickets for Drake’s “It’s All A Blur” summer tour, which will feature Sprite as the lead beverage sponsor. Drake has partnered with Sprite for more than a decade, starting with the “Spark” multinational campaign in 2012 – his first worldwide deal – and continuing with 2015’s “Obey Your Verse.” The 57-date arena tour marks the hip-hop megastar’s first series of concerts in five years.

Obeying Thirst and the Verse for 37 Years

Sprite’s ties to hip-hop date back to 1986, when rapper Kurtis Blow was cast in the “Now More Than Ever” spot, becoming one of the first hip-hop artists featured in a national mainstream ad. The commercial inspired the “I Like the Sprite In You” ads featuring popular artists like LL Cool J and Kris Kross. The ’90s brought a deeper dive into the genre with the “Obey Your Thirst” campaign starring Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, A Tribe Called Quest and Grand Puba (who reportedly coined the slogan “Obey Your Thirst” during a rehearsal). Legendary rapper Nas, a star of this summer’s campaign, made his Sprite debut alongside AZ on the stoop in 1997.

Sprite advertising in the aughts embraced hip-hop’s next generation of stars. In 2013, “Obey Your Verse” celebrated the artistry of 2Pac, Missy Elliott, J. Cole, Drake, and Rakim by decorating Sprite cans with some of their most inspirational lyrics. Rakim, who is also starring in this summer’s campaign, first appeared in a Sprite ad with 2016’s “Obey Your Verse – Lyrical Collection” spot.

Sprite’s support of the creators and arbiters of hip-hop continued with 2021’s virtual “Live From the Label” concert series featuring Latto (also in this summer’s campaign) as well as Saweetie and Jack Harlow.

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