Men don’t drink diet soda. And they don’t like sharing what they drink with women. You know what they do like? They like guns, action movies, ATVs and shit like that. MANLY shit like that!
At least that’s what the marketing team over at Dr Pepper Snapple Group – which apparently only hires knuckle-dragging, Republican cavemen – wants you to think.
The first question that comes to mind is, “Will men fall for this? Is that really the expectation?”
Then I see guys wearing Affliction t-shirts because they think that will get them mistaken as a mixed martial artist or UFC fighter. So, yes. That is the expectation and that is what will happen. (But only to a small segment of thick-skulled morons who are paranoid about their testosterone level.)
Here’s the 30-second commercial clip:
Whew. I’m parched. I could sure go for a nice, cold can of gender profiling to quench my thirst. Is this what men need? They, apparently, hate diet drinks. But they’re okay with a diet drink masquerading as a … diet drink? It’s 10 calories! How does that not scream “diet drink?” A CBS story says men are simply fed up with their options and have called for change. Here is an excerpt:
“Dr Pepper said men, in particular, are dissatisfied with the taste and image of diet drinks. The company wouldn’t disclose the formula of Dr Pepper Ten, but said that the drink has 10 calories and 2 grams of sugar, which gives it a sweeter taste. Dr Pepper said there are 23 flavors in its regular soda, (which has 150 calories and 27 grams of sugar per can) and Dr Pepper Ten contains all of them.”
On the surface, this sounds like a bad business model. Catering solely to men (the gender minority in America) who are uncomfortable enough in their skin to think that they need a drink made specifically for them is certainly niche driven. But it just might be dumb enough to work.
Women will drink Dr Pepper 10. It’s reverse psychology; tell someone they can’t do something and they suddenly feel to urge to out of spite. Men who drink it will do so because they’re thirsty, not because it has been branded in a way to turn up their testosterone.
Dr Pepper says men are dissatisfied with the image of diet drinks. Where is this study? And who the hell makes fun of someone for drinking diet soda? You have shitty friends if that’s the case.
More frustrating than Dr Pepper re-branding a diet drink as a diet drink is the gender warfare the company perceives to exist over what we consume. People who put thought into what they say see food as, well, food. People who think like the Dr Pepper marketing team see meat as men’s food and vegetables as women’s food.
There is no way to tell if this approach to marketing Dr Pepper 10 will work. Regardless of whether it does or not, men should be offended by it. They have been pigeonholed as simpletons who will do anything to not have to deal with women and their feminine ways.
A bigger issue?
Perhaps I’m making mountains our of molehills. Women in America are talked down upon and face this type of stereotyping everyday. But the idea that men are aloof, idiotic, good-for-nothing garage dwellers is played up as an endearing trait in shows such as “Married with Children” and, more recently, “King of Queens,” “Yes, Dear,” and “Still Standing.” The shows portray men as too moronic to fend for themselves and in need of constant correction from the female.
Now, this might be a big jump from a can of soda, but it all boils down to marketing and advertising. This type of gender marketing is lazy on both ends of said practices. (It also further illustrates that the majority of those in marketing and advertising have no interest in bettering the world and will sell products at the expense of a positive message. But they’re paid to make money, not the world a better place.)
Dr Pepper 10 will succeed in the short-term because it is a new product. Men will buy it to piss off their girlfriends. Women will drink it to piss off their boyfriends. Activists will drink it out of irony because American activists and protesters are lazy. (I smell a social media campaign against it.)
But does it need to come to this?
After all, it’s just soda. Diet or not, shut up and enjoy it.