Dr Pepper may get more (or less) than it bargained for thanks to an ad campaign for it’s new Dr Pepper Ten soft drink that basically tells women to take a hike and find something else to drink. And the message seems to have been received loud and clear.
The Dr Pepper Snapple Group, feeling the squeeze from a shrinking soda market, wanted to target male consumers looking for a lower calorie drink, but apparently too manly to consume a girlie diet drink like regular Diet Dr Pepper, which apparently is synonymous with estrogen and consumption of which is tantamount to admission that one has ovaries.
The new soda is packaged in gunmetal grey and features bullets (so masculine!) on the can. An ad for the soda depicts, according to the AP, “muscular men in the jungle battling snakes and bad guys and appear to shoot lasers at each other.”
“Hey ladies. Enjoying the film? Of course not. Because this is our movie and this is our soda,” says a camo-clad dude in an SUV. “You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We’re good.”
An accompanying Facebook campaign featured ad copy like this: “Thou shalt not end a comment with = ). Like Dr Pepper Ten if you want to click unlike every time you see a happy face.” A Facebook page for the product also contains an app designed to weed out women to content aimed just at men.
Message received. The campaign is making headlines, but appears to be backfiring since soda consumers from both sides of the gender divide are swearing off Dr Pepper Snapple Group products.
And although Dr Pepper could use the old ad agency defense of just “starting a conversation,” the back-and-forth unfolding on the company’s Facebook page is hardly constructive.
In fact, the one thought-provoking comment posted there this morning was met with a flurry of expletive-laced responses:
“So I’ve seen a couple of people asking if those who don’t find this ad offensive would still find it funny if it said ‘not for blacks,’ and I don’t think anyone’s answered it. But I’m genuinely curious to see if that would change people’s minds, so does anybody want to respond?”
What’s your take? Vote in our poll, then leave your comment below: