When did it become en vogue for Madison Avenue to be so blatantly misogynistic? I’m not talking about the toilet bowl cleaner ads that air during afternoon soap operas, or the commercials featuring moms who are grossly chipper about making their kid’s lunch wrapped in the most exciting plastic bags ever. That’s old news.
I’m talking about the ad campaign from the milk folks earlier this year that poked fun at women who suffer PMS. And now the new marketing effort from Dr Pepper about not wanting women.
They have a new soda, Dr Pepper Ten, which they are apparently trying very hard to let you know is geared towards men. We know this because the campaign features such poignant tag lines as, “It’s not for women” and “Just 10 manly calories” (you know, because it’s très macho to talk about the number of calories in a soda).
Here’s what I wonder: Do the advertising executives and creative-types not read their own research? You know, the research that suggests that women wield the most influence when it comes to exercising the almighty wallet? I mean, how bright is it to alienate the portion of population who will likely make or break your product?
And is there a good reason why Dr Pepper doesn’t want half of the planet’s population to drink Dr Pepper Ten? Do they think women will find a beverage with just 10 calories less appealing than men? And what do they think about the fact that 40 percent of the people who have tried Dr Pepper Ten are women, according to the New York Daily News?
By coloring the can gun metal gray (because you know, if you ask them the name of the color on the can, that’s what they’d say. That, or “steel”) and tacking on the number 10 (for the IQ score of the person who conceived of the campaign’s tag line?), it’s supposed to appeal to just men. You see, the bright folks at Dr Pepper think men don’t want a soft drink that women also drink.
Want to know what I think? Men don’t think a diet soda is manly, period. Because let’s face it – a carbonated beverage with only 10 calories is just a diet soda by any other name.
Another reason why men won’t drink Dr Pepper Ten? Because it’s not just a diet soda, it’s a diet cherry soda.
A sugar-free energy drink is likely the most appealing beverage to thirsty men watching their girlish figures. But a diet cherry soda in disguise? You can tack up as many No Girls Allowed signs as you want. But with this effort, you might as well be saying No Men Allowed, too.
Oh, and P.S.? The recipes on Dr Pepper Ten’s Facebook page? You know, the ones that tell you what you can cook with Dr Pepper Ten? That’s pretty girly, too. But nice, try, I guess. On second thought: Not.
My advice to the Dr Pepper folks? Head back to the operating room stat and try to stop the hemorrhaging of your new bloody mess of a campaign.
Do you know a man who will find this beverage appealing as a result of the ad campaign?
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