Home > Uncategorized > No Women Allowed? Be Careful What You Wish For!

No Women Allowed? Be Careful What You Wish For!

Is it smart to completely ignore, and perhaps even offend, exactly half of your available target audience? Well, apparently Dr. Pepper thinks so. The marketing team behind the delicious soft drink has recently launched a campaign for their new Dr. Pepper Ten, which has only ten calories and two grams of sugar. The Dr. Pepper Ten marketing campaign includes a commercial showing manly men in the jungle battling snakes and guns shooting at them. The commercial ends with the slogan “It’s not for women.” The new can is gunmetal grey with silver bullets. It is clear that Dr. Pepper is trying to target men with their new version of a diet drink, as men are less likely to drink diet soda. A USA Today article I read said that Dr. Pepper’s research showed that men do not drink diet drinks that are perceived as not “manly” enough. Dr. Pepper is trying to prove that this particular diet drink is not your traditional diet soda, not only because it still contains real sugar and calories, but also by saying that it is manly and not for women. Dr. Pepper has gone so far as to make their Dr. Pepper Ten Facebook page for men only, where there literally is an application on the page that excludes women from viewing its content. The Facebook page includes games, videos, and quizzes for men, including one game where you can shoot at objects such as lipstick and high heels. I understand their rational for this idea of the drink being for men, but it seems foolish to me to completely alienate, and actually make fun of, half of your audience. To purposely shun women seems a bit unnecessary.  As a person who loves Dr. Pepper, I was put off by this tactic, and it actually made me NOT want to try Dr. Pepper Ten. As a lover of the beverage, I normally would have given Dr. Pepper Ten a shot, being curious of how closely it tasted to the original. However, with the ad being so unnecessarily and blatantly against women, I not only do not have the desire to buy Dr. Pepper Ten, I am also a little mad at the makers of my favorite drink. Apparently I am not the only one. Dr. Pepper seems to be getting a bit of backlash. The campaign is proving controversial, as many articles have been written about the new ads and several negative commentaries have been posted (including YouTube spoofs). There is also a Facebook group called “Boycott Dr. Pepper Ten,” with many women posting how the commercial “insulted” them.

Now, are women just being a little too sensitive about a commercial and Facebook page? Perhaps. I mean, the commercial is overtly silly and campy, obviously meant to be comedic. After all, the man in it punches a snake. And do I really care that I cannot enter the Dr. Pepper Ten Facebook page? No, not really. I could see this as just a fun and entertaining way to say, “Hey guys, listen. I know diet drinks have traditionally been for women, but Dr. Pepper Ten tastes delicious and is just as much for men as it is for women.” I can see where they are trying to go for this, and part of me thinks that I should just laugh along with it. However, I also wonder why they could not have just said it in a less annoying and exclusive way.  And is it worth it to purposefully exclude women? I say it is not, if it is stirring controversy and “insulting” women. Advertising should try to target the new audience, should be funny, and should take things from a new angle; however, it should not do so by alienating half of its audience, offending people, or being able to be misconstrued. In my opinion, Dr. Pepper should have been a little smarter about this…and should have gone in a different direction, targeting men, while also inviting women (probably what would have been the primary consumer of Dr. Pepper Ten) along for the ride.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go drink an original Dr. Pepper out of its burgundy and bubbly can.

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Categories: Uncategorized
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