Less Calories, More Sexism

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Posted At: January 23, 2012 1:15 PM
by Jaley Cranford

Dr Pepper Ten is a new soft drink being marketed by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group. On the off chance you haven’t had the pleasure of watching a very poor attempt at macho-man advertising, you can check out one of the manly commercials here.

The commercial seems to be poking fun at the idea driving it. The entire concept of Dr Pepper Ten is that men shy away from diet drinks. Dr Pepper is apparently desperate for male consumption.

An article in USAToday, Mae Anderson reported that Dr Pepper Ten was created in response to the idea that men, in particular, are dissatisfied with the taste and image of diet drinks.

How does one solve such a dilemma?

By using advertising that teeters into the misogynistic.

The entire campaign has a tagline wrapped up in an almost sexist attempt to either be humorous or outrageous. After all, “It’s not for women.” With action-packed commercials and gunmetal gray cans, how could women possibly assume Dr Pepper Ten is for them?

The problem I have with this entire campaign is a lack of clarity. I have no idea whether Dr Pepper truly thinks men will respond to things like men punching snakes and a male-only Facebook page or if the entire campaign is satire.

For me, the campaign is a miss. From the tiny bullets on the can to the cheese-ball action commercials, I remember Dr Pepper Ten . . . but for all the wrong reasons. My first reaction to the commercial was an urge to go out and buy a Dr Pepper Ten to prove that apparently it can be for women. (I haven’t tried it yet . . . maybe they refuse sale to female customers.)

Why is Dr Pepper so desperate for male buyers? Why can’t Dr Pepper Ten be marketed to both sexes? I have no idea why Dr Pepper made this move for male-targeted sales other than the fact that the soda market is taking a hit.

In an article in the Huffington Post, Mae Anderson noted that soda sales have been spiraling downward since 2005. An influx in water, juice and healthy beverages has apparently stolen some of the soft drink profits.

I’m not sure how effective this campaign is. Dr Pepper Ten “isn’t for women” and this ad concept isn’t for me.

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