Dr. Pepper Ten–Seriously?

October 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm 6 comments

It launched on Monday: a new line of Dr. Pepper soda, with 10 calories per can.

It’s called Dr. Pepper Ten, and its NOT FOR WOMEN.

This is where marketing has taken us, people. A “manly” diet soda that surrounds itself with monster trucks and beefy plaid-clad pecs. The can looks like a bullet. Suck it up guys! 10 calories! That’s real stuff!

Manly man voice over: “Hey ladies. Enjoying the film? Of course not. Because this is our movie and this is our soda. You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We’re good.”

Over on Facebook, they won’t even let women onto their special man page.

Ten has real calories and 2 grams of real sugar, manly virile stuff. That regular Diet Dr. Pepper, with zero calories, is just so femmy, so frilly, so embarassing for a calorie-counting sort of guy.

Unfortunately, I can’t put the video of the commercial here, because everybody who has tried to upload it has been slammed by Dr. Pepper Snapple Group for copyright infringement. Which is kind of  a funny way to get the word out. Especially when the whole point of the campaign is to create social “buzz” and controversy (what! no women!)

How long do you think this product will last? I of course immediately think of another “not for women” line: Yorkie Chocolate Bar. Or, as we call it in my candy-discriminating household, Yukkie. After spitting it out, I concluded that it is not for women because women are too smart to eat such bad candy. As for Dr. Pepper Ten, well, I guess they’ll try anything.

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Fruit Snacks on Trial Waiting for Halloween

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kariscott  |  October 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Weird marketing tactic. When they were at my college passing out samples about 3 weeks ago, they did not seem to discriminate between men or women for the samples. I (female) scored 2 nice, ice-cold cans (which was great since I was trolling for lunch at the time), and it was actually pretty good. Still has high-fructose corn syrup, though, if I remember correctly.

    Reply
  • 2. jillian  |  October 26, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Dumb. I was drinking Coke Zero for at least a year before I found out it was supposed to be Diet Coke For Men. Good thing they didn’t try to keep me from buying it, huh?

    Reply
  • 3. Amanda  |  October 27, 2011 at 11:26 am

    When my husband, who has been a regular Dr. Pepper fan for decades, first saw this ad, his immediate reaction was to boycott all Dr. Pepper products. I’ve never been prouder of him. Well, hardly ever.

    Also, I note that Coke Zero and Pepsi Max and the like have done a much subtler and hopefully more effective job of targeted marketing without being blatantly offensive about it. Instead of being exclusionary, they just show men drinking it in situations that, on balance, may appeal more to men than women — but then again, may not; I know a surprising number of female football fans, both pro and college. Honestly it’s kind of a relief to see diet sodas not marketed as something women are compelled to buy in order to watch their weight.

    Reply
    • 4. Candy Professor  |  October 27, 2011 at 11:37 am

      I don’t think its offensive so much as ridiculous. It makes me feel sorry for those men if this is the only way they can be comfortable with eating or drinking whatever it is.
      I think they’re going for funny more than exclusionary, but the whole thing does seem to teeter on that fine line… I remember a controversy about an ad that was supposed to be cheeky and irreverent but totally turned into a PR disaster, something like there were people talking passionately about important political causes like Tibet or whales, then interrupted to do shoe shopping or something like that (I can’t remember, maybe someone else has fewer holes in their gray matter and knows what I’m talking about). Irony is always risky…

      Reply
  • 5. A  |  January 21, 2012 at 11:42 am

    So it’s got sugar just less of it? This product sounds good to me. I’m a man. Weird ad, but seems like without it (and the drama) I would have never even heard about it, so…

    Reply
  • 6. Sparkina  |  May 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    This “gender-targeted” marketing is nothing new. When I was just teensy, about four or five, six the outside (early 70s), there was a commercial for the cereal “Wheaties,” positioning the crispy, flaky breakfast food as a “man’s breakfast” with a “real gutsy taste.” I was afraid to try Wheaties for fear I would develop pectoral hair, whiskers, and a deep voice and/or anger my mother’s gentleman friend.

    Reply

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Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure

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Candy in American Culture What is it about candy? Here you'll find the forgotten, the strange, the curious, the surprising. Our candy story, one post at a time.

Samira Kawash, PhD
Professor Emerita,
Rutgers University

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