Dr Pepper Blew?
October 13, 2011 1:30 AM   Subscribe

Is Dr Pepper Ten's "NOT FOR WOMEN" marketing Sexist, Satirical or just Stupid? Well, the first commercial for the new low calorie soda is very tongue-in-cheek (yes, he yelled out "Catchphrase!"). But the brand's Facebook page actually excludes women (did you know Facebook can do that?), yet a marketing executive has bragged that 40 percent of the people trying it ARE women (who apparently can't read the signs saying NO WOMEN). The soft drink biz is watching to see if it works. Of course, if the Dr wants to raise the stakes, Slacktory.com has some ideas for ads (including "Grow A Penis", "Make Me A Sammich" and "We put Netflix in charge of our marketing decisions...")
posted by oneswellfoop (172 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Been done before
posted by fullerine at 1:36 AM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it's a pretty bald rip off of the Yorkie campaign.
posted by Mocata at 1:37 AM on October 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


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.

Yes, that sounds very manly. Probably why you see so many construction workers and longshoremen pounding down all those fruity, sugary cocktails.
posted by phunniemee at 1:40 AM on October 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


None of the above. What it is, is calculated to drum up word-of-mouth through a transparent attempt to kindle a little recreational outrage. It's just cynical and par for the course these days.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:41 AM on October 13, 2011 [18 favorites]


It's like the Yorkie campaign except with only 10% of the humour!
posted by oliverburkeman at 1:43 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Women get the joke," he said. "'Is this really for men or really for women?' is a way to start the conversation that can spread and get people engaged in the product."

Pepsi Misogyny.
posted by three blind mice at 1:47 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, they've banked the success of their campaign on the American media/public both understanding ironic, self-deprecating humour and not overreacting?

Good luck with that.
posted by fullerine at 1:50 AM on October 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yes, that sounds very manly. Probably why you see so many construction workers and longshoremen pounding down all those fruity, sugary cocktails.

In Australia, sweet [sometimes fruity] flavoured milk is HUGE amoungst blue collar workers. It's marketed almost excuslively to such a demographic. Blue collar, and maybe also your blokey layabout type.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:52 AM on October 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


maybe also your blokey layabout type

Someone called?
posted by maxwelton at 2:10 AM on October 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


Coke Zero and Pepsi max both tried to market their manly diet drinks to manly men, although not as explicitly as to exclude women from their FB pages. That's taking it a little bit too far.

Sometimes they have those British "NOT FOR GIRLS" candy bars at the supermarket, which I found mildly amusing, but I guess I wasn't aware of the context.
posted by bleep at 2:14 AM on October 13, 2011


Secret deodorant played it from the other side with "Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman".

In other brands marketing to both sexes, the formula is identical apart from scent ingredients, while unscented versions only differ in packaging. But not in price: the "female version" is more expensive.
posted by likeso at 2:15 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know what pisses me off? That guy who claims to be "the most interesting man in the world" because he drinks Dos Equis. I mean, I've tried Dos Equis. It tastes like tequila. Even after a bottle or two of the stuff I didn't feel more interesting at all. In fact, I felt way more interesting doing other things. I have a wife and children, and a steady job. I have interesting hobbies. I think about the world I live in and the future. I think I'm way more interesting than that guy.

I don't like these "tongue-in-cheek" ads. That's no way to advertise anything, let alone a soft-drink. You can't drink Dr. Pepper with your tongue in your cheek, because that makes the liquid dribble down the side of your face. It's just not realistic.

And Dr Pepper mixed with tequila makes me want to vomit.

I'm just saying.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:23 AM on October 13, 2011 [20 favorites]


This is win-win for the marketers, as far as I can tell. It seems like the number 1 way to convince everyone (else) that the feminist movement is made up of pearl-clutching, easily upset matrons is to do something like this, which brings said demographic out of the woodwork, and basically confirms every stereotype the brand was trying to exploit in the first place.

Paraphased from Lisa Simpson, the best way to kill a marketing campaign is "just don't look." (or blog) This, of course, is easier said than done, especially with a target as rich with outrage (and site clicks) potential as this.
posted by ShutterBun at 2:25 AM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


By the way, "Grow a Penis" is an anagram of Spiro Agnew. This is perhaps the first comment in recorded history where anyone pointed this out in this direction.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:35 AM on October 13, 2011 [44 favorites]


Even after a bottle or two of the stuff I didn't feel more interesting at all.

Well, c'mon man, you're not giving it a chance it you stop at two bottles.

By the way, "Grow a Penis" is an anagram of Spiro Agnew.

Favorite Spiro Agnew Anagrams.
posted by three blind mice at 2:39 AM on October 13, 2011


Yeah, what stavros said. It's not even remotely funny and, anyway, quasi-discriminatory marketing isn't edgy and cool any more so this fails on all levels for me.
posted by dg at 2:43 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is perhaps the first comment in recorded history where anyone pointed this out in this direction.

Considering the profanity-laced tirades in the Nixon tapes, I strongly doubt it.
posted by Skeptic at 2:46 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


That guy who claims to be "the most interesting man in the world" because he drinks Dos Equis

Classic post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

The claim never mentions "because" but merely suggests that "he also does this."
posted by ShutterBun at 2:50 AM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


If we talk about it, we're just falling into their ad campaign. If we don't talk about it, we're silently condoning misogyny. It's the advertising version of "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?"

Clearly, the answer is to drink Diet Mountain Mu.
posted by Eideteker at 2:54 AM on October 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm not in the "this is mysogyny camp", but fully endorse discussing all other soft drinks whenever this comes up. Because I'm sick of being the Viral marketers Bitch.

So how many of you Americans have tried Irn Bru? Because as sweet sugary drinks go, that's currently my favourite. It's so good. You should really try hunting it down and trying it.
posted by seanyboy at 3:01 AM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is about as close to pepsi blue we can get without actually talking about pepsi.
posted by HuronBob at 3:01 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Classic post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

So you've tried Dr Pepper and tequila then? Because, yes, "hoc ergo propter hoc" is exactly the sound you make after drinking that.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:09 AM on October 13, 2011 [28 favorites]


If we don't talk about it, we're silently condoning misogyny.

Politely disagree. If we don't talk about it, it sinks to the bottom of the internet to be buried under failed 4chan memes and the 99% of everything else that doesn't catch on.

Seeing that this wasn't the right way to go and that marketing dollars wasted, the campaign then changes.

Seriously, if we were "condoning" everything online that we didn't talk about, I can't imagine what kind of crazy fetish videos and boring instructional tutorials have our collective endorsement.
posted by ®@ at 3:14 AM on October 13, 2011 [22 favorites]


Whatever, Dr. Pepper tastes like crap.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:30 AM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I vote for "just stupid." Setting aside the misogyny, there's no way you're going to convince me that a diet soda is "manly." Not ironically, not jokingly. It just doesn't ring true.

The Dos Equis "most interesting man in the world" campaign is a good contrast. Yeah, it's logically flawed, but my reptile brain can believe that grizzled, experienced, interesting guys drink the beer. It's a world you can believe exists, at least until the commercial break ends.

So that just leaves the "well at least people will talk about it" angle. Although I'm much more inclined to believe the "stupid client/self-absorbed advertising agency" angle.
posted by PlusDistance at 3:34 AM on October 13, 2011


Tastes like the disinfectant they use in Qantas airplane toilets actually.

Don't ask. Trans-pacific is a fucking long flight.
posted by Jimbob at 3:35 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


What were you doing in a Qantas airplane toilet that made you so desperately thirsty?
posted by Grimgrin at 3:37 AM on October 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


Crying. Crying.
posted by Jimbob at 3:38 AM on October 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Sexist, Satirical or just Stupid?
Yes, not in any meaningful way, and yes.
posted by Zonker at 3:55 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Honestly, it's not any worse than most other commercials when it comes to "women/men are like THIS amirite" quotient.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:00 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sexist, Satirical or just Stupid?

I vote stupid. But I am once again irritated that I am being asked to just take a joke at the expense of my gender, and apparently I'm humorless if I don't. Death by a thousand cuts, y'all.

If only I didn't like Dr Pepper so much. Curse you, you strangely addictive beverage!
posted by Salieri at 4:12 AM on October 13, 2011 [15 favorites]


You know what pisses me off? That guy who claims to be "the most interesting man in the world" because he drinks Dos Equis.

Actually what makes the Dos Equis campaign interesting is he says, "I don't always drink beer, but when I do I drink Dos Equis." He may rarely drink the stuff he's shilling. You know, if it was a real person.
posted by birdherder at 4:12 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


This makes me think there's an opening in the market for laundry products for men. Not interested in "mountain flower"-scented Downy? Don't think your clothes need another "fabric softener"? Then it's time to use our new detergent Torque and fabric enhancer Thrust.
posted by Jpfed at 4:21 AM on October 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't drink soft drinks, but if I did, I wouldn't drink Dr. Pepper because of this. By the way, that flavor is prunes. Dr. Pepper is prune soda.
posted by fuq at 4:25 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Knowing that Dr. Pepper is prune flavored makes me want to try prunes but I always forget to look for them when I'm at the store.
posted by josher71 at 4:29 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the commercial is dumb.

That said, the thing that confuses me the most -- their other commercials say Diet Dr. Pepper tastes just like regular Dr. Pepper. So what does this stuff taste like?
posted by inigo2 at 4:30 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


What really makes the Dos Equis campaign interesting is that the guy who plays the Most Interesting Man In The World isn't even hispanic, but rather is a New York Jew from the Bronx named Jonathan Goldsmith.
posted by hippybear at 4:33 AM on October 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's interesting in light of the current crop of TV shows that are about men doing badly in relationship to women (from what I've read, haven't seen them) . Or just no men. This NYT article also used the word 'mancession,' hopefully with some degree of irony, to describe the relative economic gains women have made economically in relationship to men.

So, I found the commercial merely not-funny, but it feels a little queasy for it to be exploiting a cultural understanding??? belief ??? that men fall into a special class of vulnerability a la, 'You've lost your manhood! Drink this!'
posted by angrycat at 4:35 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]




[It's] a way to start the conversation that can spread and get people engaged in the product.

Get people engaged in the product.

Engaged in the product.

posted by klue at 4:47 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is Dr Pepper Ten's "NOT FOR WOMEN" marketing Sexist, Satirical or just Stupid?

None of those are exclusive of the others.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:47 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dr. Pepper tastes just like regular Dr. Pepper. So what does this stuff taste like?

Something that kinda looks like prunes...only more MANLY.


Here's a pro-tip to advertisers just from me: There is enough crap out there for me to buy so if you tell me your product is not for ME, I'll believe you. Makes my choices easier.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:53 AM on October 13, 2011


Something that kinda looks like prunes...only more MANLY.

Balls? Are you saying it tastes like balls?
posted by piratebowling at 4:57 AM on October 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


Reverse psychology.
posted by crunchland at 5:02 AM on October 13, 2011


Top rated Youtube comment:

Ladies please... If you can take a dick, you can take a joke. - k1llsh0t

Yes clearly the common people are "getting" this sort of edgy subversive humor. Let's all hope that this sort of smart satire can bring out more discussions like the ones k1llsh0t is trying to start.
posted by windbox at 5:02 AM on October 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


Also, it was designed to provoke viral marketing by generating threads like this on internet comment boards.

The Man thanks you, oneswellfoop.
posted by crunchland at 5:04 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mean, I've tried Dos Equis. It tastes like tequila.

Tequila? Huh?

Anyway, I do like Coke Zero, and have preferred it to Diet Coke since before it was "available in all markets". But everytime I order a Coke Zero in public (which, I guess, is pretty much only on airplanes) i feel like a tool, because I'm worried the flight attendant will perceive I'm a victim to the manly male marketing.

i should spend less time worrying what random people think of my beverage choices.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 5:10 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


i should spend less time worrying what random people think of my beverage choices.

I'm the one who sends goggle-eyed flight attendants to the back of the plane to scrounge up a glass of milk, so I wouldn't worry about your Coke Zero habit too much if I were you.
posted by phunniemee at 5:13 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a solid gold idea for a Dr. Pepper campaign: sell something other than Dr. Pepper, which is fucking vile.
posted by Legomancer at 5:15 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


What really makes the Dos Equis campaign interesting is that the guy who plays the Most Interesting Man In The World isn't even hispanic, but rather is a New York Jew from the Bronx named Jonathan Goldsmith.

Eh, that's actually not that weird -- there's a show with a former Mossad agent for a character, and she's played by a a Chilean actress.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:16 AM on October 13, 2011


a New York Jew from the Bronx named Jonathan Goldsmith.

That guy went sailing with Fernando Lamas? He really is the most interesting man in the world.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:20 AM on October 13, 2011


Oh Dr. Pepper, you used to be so cool.
posted by JanetLand at 5:30 AM on October 13, 2011


ShutterBun: "This is win-win for the marketers, as far as I can tell. It seems like the number 1 way to convince everyone (else) that the feminist movement is made up of pearl-clutching, easily upset matrons is to do something like this, which brings said demographic out of the woodwork, and basically confirms every stereotype the brand was trying to exploit in the first place.

Paraphased from Lisa Simpson, the best way to kill a marketing campaign is "just don't look." (or blog) This, of course, is easier said than done, especially with a target as rich with outrage (and site clicks) potential as this.
"

Yes, being annoyed by stereotype driven, misogynistic marketing campaigns definitely makes one a "pearl clutcher".

Look, I definitely don't think this is the most egregious offense against feminism ever, no more than general commercial/media shittiness that posits that "real men" are this and women, one monolithic group, are all the opposite. But being annoyed at this campaign does not make me a "pearl clutching, easily upset matron". If the campaign was "Dr. Pepper TEN, only for Whites", I very much doubt anybody would be telling the critics of said marketing campaign to lighten up and just not look at it.
posted by katyggls at 5:31 AM on October 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


Remember how cigarette companies learned really quickly that the best way to market was to convince children that smoking made you cool? Imagine that, a campaign that effectively implies not drinking this soda makes you a lady. They should have just called it "dare you to drink this, FAGS" and be done with it.

This ultimately is more about starting a long-expected "real men who, like, get laid and are cool drink soda" campaign, since soda companies aren't risking long term revenue loss over not getting enough men to drink them but rather the whole mass obesity epidemic leading people to convince children not to drink flavored compressed corn syrup altogether.

I'm curious to see if it would work, though. In the wake of Super-Size Me there were a spate of "this is a MAN-SIZED Burger! Graaaaaargh!" campaigns from Burger King and Carl's Jr. and most were soundly laughed at. On the flip side, we were talking just yesterday about the 53% website where people en masse logged on to brag about how they choose to let their lives be shitty. So it's basically America having to fight over its impulse to take care of itself and its impulse to say fuck you to everyone else once again.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:35 AM on October 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Something that kinda looks like prunes...only more MANLY.

Worf would like to have a word with you.
posted by Salieri at 5:36 AM on October 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


In danger of going off-topic, but that "just replace the word man with the colour white" simile is dangerous nonsense.
posted by seanyboy at 5:37 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


why the fuck don't they make cinnamon soda or spearmint soda or peppermint soda

"because it's fucking gross" isn't an answer

look i like Jolt Espresso and i apologize for nothing
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:40 AM on October 13, 2011


seanyboy: "In danger of going off-topic, but that "just replace the word man with the colour white" simile is dangerous nonsense."

Why? Why are we not allowed to compare sexism and racism? Is it ok to be a little sexist but not ok to be a little racist?
posted by katyggls at 5:41 AM on October 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


The Man thanks you, oneswellfoop.
Didn't you know, Dude? I AM The Man.

And if we can't "just replace the word man with the colour white", can we replace it with "straight"?

There's also the LEAST Interesting Man in the World (via MAD Magazine)
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:42 AM on October 13, 2011


If you can take a dick, you can take a joke

That's an interesting statement. I'm probably overthinking here but this comes across as though getting fucked by a guy (i.e. "taking it") places me as a woman in a position of weakness; woman and gays being less choosy (more submissive) than guys who don't "take dicks."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:46 AM on October 13, 2011


Why? Why are we not allowed to compare sexism and racism
Because it's a trite comparison that does nothing to address the issue. Unless you're going to seriously pull this masterpiece of deductive thinking out next time someone says something like "I'm going to the men's room", then it is meaningless.
posted by seanyboy at 5:49 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


What interests me more is that "This product is categorically just for men" gets a lot more grief than things like "lambrini girls just want to have fun." The former is almost a dare, and it's obviously and blatantly tongue-in-cheek. The latter is more subtle, but more strongly stated (I think) in its gender restrictiveness.
posted by seanyboy at 5:51 AM on October 13, 2011


Snopes wants to talk to you about the whole "Dr. Pepper is prune flavored" thing.

I still want to try prunes. Seemingly difficult to find in grocery stores though. Or am I looking in the wrong place?
posted by josher71 at 5:57 AM on October 13, 2011


seanyboy: "Why? Why are we not allowed to compare sexism and racism
Because it's a trite comparison that does nothing to address the issue. Unless you're going to seriously pull this masterpiece of deductive thinking out next time someone says something like "I'm going to the men's room", then it is meaningless.
"

I was addressing the "issue" that feminists are routinely told to "lighten up", "ignore it", etc. when they criticize something like this, while people who criticize racism, are, for the most part at least given a fair hearing. I don't know what part of that is trite to you. My point is that many people seem to think it's ok for our media to be a little sexist, and that women should just "grin and bear it", whereas most will not tolerate it being a little racist and don't tell minorities that they should just put up with it. You can substitute any kind of -ist, if you like, I was just using that to illustrate what I think is a fair point.
posted by katyggls at 5:59 AM on October 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


katyggls: Why? Why are we not allowed to compare sexism and racism
seanyboy: Because it's a trite comparison that does nothing to address the issue.


This comment from Bunny Ultramod from a few days ago about privilege and how it informs discussions seems particularly relevant now.
posted by Kimberly at 6:00 AM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


marketing now calls prunes 'dried plums'
posted by garlic at 6:01 AM on October 13, 2011


Still not manly enough. I require a soda that excludes women and the fruity-tutties.
posted by dgaicun at 6:05 AM on October 13, 2011


Bring me forth my dried plums!!!
posted by josher71 at 6:24 AM on October 13, 2011


>>If you can take a dick, you can take a joke

>That's an interesting statement. I'm probably overthinking here but this comes across as though getting fucked by a guy (i.e. "taking it") places me as a woman in a position of weakness; woman and gays being less choosy (more submissive) than guys who don't "take dicks."


I'm totally going to say this to my wife next time she doesn't think I'm funny... but I'm also going to have an escape route planned, and make sure the weather is ok for sleeping in the back yard. More seriously, it is a fascinating conflation of two meanings of "to take," both of which emphasizing the submission in receptive sex.

On the subject of the FPP, add me to the people who are tired of pseudo-edgy advertising. I'm sure it's effective (or they wouldn't keep doing it), but to me it just seems so blatantly false and boringly reductive. I'd never thought of diet soda as gendered; I don't touch the stuff but lots of men I know drink it because of concerns about sugar and HFCS, or because they enjoy the taste.
posted by Forktine at 6:33 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd never thought of diet soda as gendered; I don't touch the stuff but lots of men I know drink it because of concerns about sugar and HFCS, or because they enjoy the taste.

I think the genderness of diet soda is way less now than it used to be, but it's still there. Growing up I knew we always had two types of soda in the fridge, diet for my mom and regular for me and my dad (that changed when my dad got diabetes, go figure), it was the same in a lot of my friends' houses, even houses where the mothers didn't seem to be otherwise dieting. Even now, I know when I've worked in offices with mostly women, there is often a communal supply of diet soda, which I've never found in offices dominated by men.

I do find the success of the the more recent diet beverages in getting male market share interesting; my aforementioned diabetic father drinks a ton of Coke Zero, but no Diet Coke. That said, I had a Dr Pepper Ten and it tasted like a Diet Doctor Pepper, so why would I take an extra ten calories for the same experience?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:41 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not really sexist, because it is obviously intended to be satirical. It sorta fails at that because it's stupid and not very funny, so the satire is weak. Because the satire is weak, it does come across as kinda sexist.

Everyone all clear?
posted by zardoz at 6:53 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I still want to try prunes. Seemingly difficult to find in grocery stores though. Or am I looking in the wrong place?

look for "dried plums" in any dried fruit/baking aisle. I don't understand the stigma - basically just people giggling because they're a good laxative if you eat too many. I like them.
posted by fromageball at 6:54 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm probably overthinking here but this comes across as though getting fucked by a guy (i.e. "taking it") places me as a woman in a position of weakness; woman and gays being less choosy (more submissive) than guys who don't "take dicks."

Excessive concern over one's appearance is a feminine trait, mostly because males are more visually oriented when it comes to attraction. Women aren't less choosy, they're generally far more choosy, it's just that appearance is not the primary factor.

And it's not just confined to the heteronormative mainstream. The stereotypical gay male is obsessed with appearance, the stereotypical gay female is obsessed with anything but.

YMMV, especially on MeFI, but whether this is nature or nurture, it's real. And men might not want to drink things specifically marketed as "diet" because it makes them seem overly concerned with trivial aspects of their appearance (do these pants make my ass look big?), and makes them seem weak-willed (as if you can't work off those 200 calories?).
posted by unigolyn at 6:57 AM on October 13, 2011


This is the same company that had "I <3 DP" shirts printed, with the marketing department fully aware of the other meaning.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:57 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's so unacceptably sissified about regular diet soda, anyway? The leader of the free world is a Diet Coke Fiend like me, I hear.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:03 AM on October 13, 2011


I will not comment I will not comment I will not comment dammit I commented
posted by Xoebe at 7:04 AM on October 13, 2011


I only vaguely remember controversy about some really stupid Klondike bar ads and yet I'll never buy them.

The question you have to ask yourself, punk, is do you really attract that many new consumers to make up for the ones who are A) still ignoring you or B) now actively turned off.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:05 AM on October 13, 2011


I haven't tried this, but it's pretty obvious it is a brilliant commercial, because it works.

All that matters is that the drink sells, and it does. Remember that nothing in the world matters except profits. Whether it is sexist or offensive or whatever is not even a little bit relevant to the company, as long as that perception does not negatively affect sales. If sales were negatively affected, then sexism in the ad would be bad. If the sales are positively affected (as is the case here), then sexism is good.

It's all a matter of perception, and whether you buy this drink or not, the perception you have is that it is special. That perception will translate into sales, because if there is one great truth about the American consumer, it is that they hate to be excluded. Americans will eat the most disgusting food you can imagine--and pay a premium for the privilege--provided they think it is exclusive. They will convince themselves that it takes good because it is expensive and exclusive.

Remember girls. Dr. Pepper Ten is not for women. Women don't drink this. Just like women don't read comic books or spend countless hours playing video games. Women don't watch action movies. No sir. Those are guy things. Girls don't do those things. I know that sales of those things are floundering, but we stand on principle, They are for men, not women. So stay away.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:05 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


So this is Cartmanland in soft drink form?
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:12 AM on October 13, 2011


is a way to start the conversation

What fucking conversation?

and in reality all it does is make explicit what many advertisers merely insinuate.

{insert snarling loathing for 91% of advertisers/advertisement}
posted by edgeways at 7:16 AM on October 13, 2011


"women don't read comic books or spend countless hours playing video games"

Not the same thing. We can find things that appeal to us in comics or video games, even though they're usually not marketed specifically to us, because of the variety of offerings out there. Dr. Pepper 10 is a single product.

I just emailed ol' Jim and said that even though I tried Dr. Pepper 10 and liked it (before I heard about this advertising campaign), I won't be buying it. Just because I get the joke doesn't mean I like it.
posted by HopperFan at 7:17 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's funny is i've been hearing that Dr. Pepper is selling like hot cakes in Japan amoung the nerdier groups because of it being in the anime Steins;Gate.
posted by usagizero at 7:18 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seemingly difficult to find in grocery stores though. Or am I looking in the wrong place?

Look for raisins and dried apricots. Now on the shelf below you will see dried plums. That's them.

I don't see soda as manly or feminine-- I see soda as childish. Which hurts my husband's feelings a little bit because he drinks Mountain Dew instead of coffee. But I stand by my remark: Coffee, Tea, Alcohol...Adult beverages. Soda....for children.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:18 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stupid, yeah. It's a soda commercial. Sexist? Yeah, but no more so than the cultivation of male/female movie genres.

Where I'm from the real men drink Budweiser, Coors, or Rolling Rock, i.e. the most unmanly of beers, and women drink Moxie as much as the men do. Long live the orange Moxie can.
posted by jwhite1979 at 7:18 AM on October 13, 2011


This is definitely aimed towards teen males. They should just call it body spray and sell gallons of it.
posted by drowsy at 7:23 AM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I see soda as childish. Which hurts my husband's feelings a little bit because he drinks Mountain Dew instead of coffee. But I stand by my remark: Coffee, Tea, Alcohol...Adult beverages. Soda....for children.

Whenever i read or hear something like this, all i can picture is a five year old saying "I'm a big kid now!!" trying to prove that by consuming/not consuming a certain product makes them so. It's about as silly as if said cilantro was adult, pasta was childish (hey, kids like pasta, hate cilantro, so it must be).
posted by usagizero at 7:23 AM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is a catchphrase.
posted by zippy at 7:23 AM on October 13, 2011


It's all a matter of perception, and whether you buy this drink or not, the perception you have is that it is special.

I mean, not to be pedantic, but the perception I have is that it's made by people who think I'm an idiot. That always leaves a gross taste in my mouth.

This is also why I avoid Axe products.
posted by Honorable John at 7:24 AM on October 13, 2011


I think the genderness of diet soda is way less now than it used to be, but it's still there.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:41 AM on October 13


There needs to be a history of advertising, because it's the most important and influential part of our culture and no one remembers any of it. When Coca-Cola introduced Tab, the first diet soda, in 1963 then had to heavily market it for women, as a drink for "beautiful people." They had to program the market to think of Tab as a women's drink.

But when Pepsi changed the name of thier flagship diet soda from Patio, which was marketed to women, to Diet Pepsi in the early 60's, they didn't take this approach. They went entirely in the opposite direction. In fact, a famous 1980's superbowl commercial featured both NFL quaterbacks Dan Marino and Joe Montana drinking Diet Pepsi.

When Coca-Cola introducted Diet Coke in 1982, the advertising was gender neutral. The emphasis was on the taste. They didn't need to reprogram the consumer along gender lines because Pepsi already spent 20 years doing that.

Diet Coke outsells all other sodas, including regular Coke. I would be amazed if market research showed anything other than a de minimus percentage of Americans who think Diet Coke, or diet soda in general are for women.

In fact, in the movie Tropic Thunder, the hyper-aggressive, hyper-masculine Hollywood producer Les Grossman demands a Diet Coke at the end of an invective-fueled scene. The joke is funny not because a man like that wouldn't drink Diet Coke, but because it is exactly what people like that drink constantly.

In fact, Diet Coke's current campaign is run with the slogan "Stay Extraordinary" and features both men and women doing cliched "important" jobs, like lawyers, doctors, movie directors, fashion designers (not models), etc.

Pay close attention how Dr. Pepper 10 is advertised here. It is not being marketed to men (like say in a beer commercial), but it is being marketed explicitly as not for women by objectifiying men.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:26 AM on October 13, 2011 [14 favorites]


(To be clear, I don't avoid Axe products because they leave a gross taste in my mouth. That's true of all deodorants. I avoid them because they stink of condescension.)
posted by Honorable John at 7:26 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


A whole bunch of years ago, one of the radio stations here in Phoenix (KSLX) decided that they would be 'the radio station for MEN', and catered their programming and advertising to said market.

It's surprising how little a sense of humor women have about this kinda stuff.
posted by davelog at 7:32 AM on October 13, 2011


Japan is always way ahead of us.
posted by rikschell at 7:37 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


"'HopperFan',

Thank you for writing to us about Dr Pepper TEN and allowing me to respond. I, too, am a woman who likes the full flavor of Dr Pepper TEN and the fact that it’s only 10 calories. When I was first shown the tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign and the tagline, my reaction was, “I’ll be the judge of that.” In other words, no one is going to tell me what I can eat or drink.

Truth is, we know and welcome the fact that the product appeals to both men and women. I hope you, too, will come to see our advertising campaign for what it is, a humorous take on the many men who are worried about their waistlines but are too “manly” to drink a diet soda.

Regards,

Tina

TINA BARRY | EVP Corporate Affairs
Dr Pepper Snapple Group"
posted by HopperFan at 7:38 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


It never really occurred to me to find this campaign offensive to women. As a woman, I don't really care. Why would I care about not having a diet soda marketed to me as if I'm a dullard?

I do think it's kind of offensive to (or really, more "obnoxious about") men, in that it assumes that the best way to market to men is to show guys swinging machetes or whatever. And it also seems to assume on the part of men a somewhat pathological fear of women. In other words, this, to me, is like claiming you're marketing your product to adult women and then packaging it with a tufted purple pony on the can. THAT'S what would annoy me, is being included in a demographic I want no part of.

As for the whole "you don't understand; this is how they WANT you to react; they WANT controversy" thing, I think everybody gets it. But the fact that a company sends an obnoxious message for a crass commercial reason doesn't mean the message isn't sent. And as long as the message is being sent, I sort of feel like people are within their rights to explicitly reject it.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 7:47 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


And it also seems to assume on the part of men a somewhat pathological fear of women.

Well, so does most advertising and, if we're on the topic, most popular culture.
posted by blucevalo at 7:51 AM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


i am serious about Jolt Espresso, it's fucking good

way better than coke black or that pepsi one
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:01 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


And it also seems to assume on the part of men a somewhat pathological fear of women.

Well, so does most advertising and, if we're on the topic, most popular culture.

Woman (on phone) to clueless husband searching refrigerator: "Babe, what are you DOING?"

Husband reacts with deer-in-headlights look as if stunned at being caught in the act. Fade to product over.

This.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 8:07 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


That always leaves a gross taste in my mouth.

This is also why I avoid Axe products.


I don't think you're supposed to put them in your mouth.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:08 AM on October 13, 2011


Before this ad campaign, the only people I've ever heard make fun of a man for drinking diet soda was insecure gay men. Make of that what you will.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:15 AM on October 13, 2011


I don't think you're supposed to put them in your mouth.

Then why are the ladies in the ad always trying to lick the guy's bare chest after he applies it? I tried Axe once and the only thing that tried to lick me was my cat.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:17 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


why the fuck don't they make cinnamon soda or spearmint soda or peppermint soda

No market. They've tried all sorts of sodas over the years. Many come and go, cinnamon and mint have been tried and did not survive or did not have enough appeal to make the step into a national market. This means you may find some in a local or regional market, or more likely, they died with their local/regional companies as national and multi-nationals swept the market clean after the (and I'm not joking) Cola Wars.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:18 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dr. Pepper Ten is really tasty. Really, really tasty. Women should drink Dr Pepper Ten too. Because it's really, really tasty. Not because it's "not diet" but because the little bit of sugar provides just the taste of the regular you need, without being HFCS heavy.
posted by Apropos of Something at 8:18 AM on October 13, 2011


I tried Axe once and the only thing that tried to lick me was my cat.

See, it DOES make you a pussy magnet!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:18 AM on October 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm still waiting for one of the soda makers to make a cola with about half of the sugar, half of the sweetness. I doubt it will ever happen. But seriously, I love it when I hit a soda fountain that is just nearly out of syrup and I get the Pepsi that has about half of the syrup it's supposed to. I only wish it had a touch more cola flavor.

Diet anything tastes like I'm chewing on metal. Aspartame is one of the most disgusting substances to exist.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:23 AM on October 13, 2011


twoleftfeet: "You know what pisses me off? That guy who claims to be "the most interesting man in the world" because he drinks Dos Equis. I mean, I've tried Dos Equis. It tastes like tequila."

Really?!? I always thought it tasted like beer. Maybe you're drinking it wrong?
posted by Deathalicious at 8:23 AM on October 13, 2011


Well, so does most advertising and, if we're on the topic, most popular culture.

Oh, absolutely. I've talked to some folks recently about the fact that I'm at least as disheartened at pop-culture's relationship with men (especially fathers) as I am at its relationship with women/mothers. I agree completely.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 8:27 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Saw this earlier on BlogHer and commented. I figured it was an ill-advised tie-in to that new Tim Allen show (where they will probably advertise their product). I think this slogan is better:

Dr. Pepper TEN: New! Ten Ways to Ensure Your Product Doesn't Sell!

1. Market your product as "It's Not for Women".
2. Alienate 51% of your own demographic.
3. Use Facebook, rather than Twitter or Google+ (okay, that just bothers ME), because you don't care about your customers' privacy concerns.
4. Create App to facetiously ban women from participating in your Facebook campaign (when women use social media the most).
5. Create funny sexist games that, worse than being sexist, are not actually funny.
6. Don't own up to making a huge mistake.
7. Try to spin bad marketing idea as "Har, har, it's a joke!"
8. Imply women have no sense of humor if they don't agree with your bad marketing idea.
9. Package the "manly" product in a turquoise can, when research suggests men actually considers that color "girly". The irony is delicious (unlike, maybe, Dr. Pepper TEN. But then, I wouldn't know, as I am a woman).
10. Tarnish the rest of your product line by association, even for those of us who usually think Diet Dr. Pepper is actually pretty damn good.
posted by misha at 8:32 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


People actually get this worked up about a soda?

And other people get this worked up about a soda ad?

Who cares? If you want to drink it, drink it. If you don't, don't.
posted by -1 at 8:33 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've tried both on the road (they're next to each other in the convenience store case when we're gassing up the car) and I can't really tell the difference. Same for Coke Zero and Diet Coke.

When Coke Zero pulled the same kind of campaign (although less blatantly so) a while back, I told a female friend of mine about it and she couldn't believe they marketed diet soda that way. I'm bummed that it's Dr. Pepper, which I like best of my soda choices, pulling this trick this time. Also in my house everybody drinks diet of some sort because holy shit, have you looked at how much sugar is in the regular kind? It's like drinking a giant cupcake. A giant, pruney-tasting (according to some) cupcake.
posted by immlass at 8:35 AM on October 13, 2011


Huh. We randomly stumbled across this soda, and tried it. I like it, but my husband is a straight-up addict. It's already a staple in the house without either of us ever seeing a commercial.

It's made my intermittent pledge to go on a soda diet harder, that's for sure.
posted by PussKillian at 8:38 AM on October 13, 2011


Japan is always way ahead of us.

I remember the first time I ran across "Men's Pocky". It was just... so incredibly fucking bizarre, my brain actually froze for a bit. I guess the implication is that dark chocolate is manly or something, I dunno. I don't think it's even supposed to be ironic.
posted by kmz at 8:38 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I first saw a Yorkie bar in a grocery store (they're practically unheard of in the US), with its "not for girls!" packaging, I was all like "Oh yeah, Yorkie bar? Well, I'm a girl, and your packaging is stupid and I don't have to listen to it! I'm totally buying and eating you, and you can't do shit about it." And thus I rewarded their stupid packaging.

Tina Barry, EVP Corporate Affairs has got it.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:42 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


inigo2: "I think the commercial is dumb.

That said, the thing that confuses me the most -- their other commercials say Diet Dr. Pepper tastes just like regular Dr. Pepper. So what does this stuff taste like?
"

Actually, it's Diet Dr. Pepper tastes more like Dr. Pepper!

Which drives my husband absolutely batty.

"Tastes more like Dr. Pepper than WHAT?!" He'll yell.

And I'll be like, *sigh*. "It tastes more like regular than diet, that's all they are saying. Calm down, you're going to have a stroke."

mccarty.tim: "This is the same company that had "I <3 DP" shirts printed, with the marketing department fully aware of the other meaning."

Okay, I actually like that, but I have a weird sense of humor.
posted by misha at 8:47 AM on October 13, 2011


In the UK, I was mystified by Kleenex for Men.
posted by grouse at 8:47 AM on October 13, 2011


Weirdly enough, I was reading about this the other day. I haven't drunk soda for over fifteen years but I might have caved for Dan Clowes art.
posted by mippy at 8:51 AM on October 13, 2011


Coming soon:

Welch's Grape Soda X: It's Not for Blacks

Die Hard The Musical: It's Not for Gays
posted by Praxis at 8:52 AM on October 13, 2011


In the UK, I was mystified by Kleenex for Men.

They come out of the box easier than the usual packaging when using only one hand.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:53 AM on October 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


It used to be called 'Kleenex Mansize'. I suppose because men have big manly man noses.
posted by mippy at 8:54 AM on October 13, 2011


The Yorkie campaign was actually quite astute, as more or less 100% of chocolate advertising at the time was aimed exclusively at women, leaving a man-sized niche in the market. This? not so much.
posted by kersplunk at 8:58 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


All my life I've had this issue where if you tell me something is just for boys, I will just have to have it. I was always a tomboy and it's some kind of competitive game that I play with myself. That's OK if it's a chocolate bar or a soda or some horrible cut of meat, but last month my roommates and I drove somewhere for brunch and on the way back my male roommate asked if we could stop by the cigar store. I came in with them and the store owner started trying to sell me cigars saying "this slim one is great for women" yaddda yadda, while telling my roommate that this or that cigar was manly or robust. He takes out a big giant strong-smelling one and tells my roommate that "it's the manliest one we have." I give him a defiant look and say

"I'll take that one then."

"Are you sure? It's really strong"

"No, I want it."

So we get home and I start smoking it. I'm having a grand old time, when suddenly I feel like the world is spinning. I spent the next two hours in the bathroom, throwing up my brunch.

The truth was that the cigar was too strong for anyone who hasn't really smoked before or anyone weighing 105 lbs. It had nothing to do with manliness, except as a marketing ploy.
posted by melissam at 8:59 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


In other news, GM said girls laugh at guys who ride bikes.

In later other news, GM cancelled the ad after desirable demographic - young men, many of whom ride bikes - dissed GM.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/g-m-pulls-ad-suggesting-cyclists-t-girls-204806708.html
posted by NorthernLite at 9:03 AM on October 13, 2011


seanyboy: "I'm not in the "this is mysogyny camp", but fully endorse discussing all other soft drinks whenever this comes up. Because I'm sick of being the Viral marketers Bitch.

So how many of you Americans have tried Irn Bru? Because as sweet sugary drinks go, that's currently my favourite. It's so good. You should really try hunting it down and trying it.
"

I've tried. No go in my area.
posted by Samizdata at 9:06 AM on October 13, 2011


Link to the facebook page? Anything interesting there? Can they really exclude women from groups? What about the people who never selected a gender? I saw this ad last night and was a little surprised, but not totally RAR or anything about it just "Wow, that's an odd take"
posted by jessamyn at 9:09 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kleenex for men: THESE ARE FOR MY GIGANTIC AND EXTREMELY POWERFUL BOOGERS AND NOT FOR CRYING.

I expect that most of the 'for men' commercials are targeted not just to insecure men (or more likely adolescent boys), but also as aspirational products for male-identified women--the types who brag about not having female friends and getting along better with men. And just to cover all their bases, they'll go ahead and trot out the parody argument for plausible deniability purposes.

But the thing is, if reasonable people can't immediately tell whether something is parody, it may as well not be. The sort of casual misogyny they're supposedly parodying here is prevalent and current enough that if you're going to parody it, you can't really be subtle about it. So I'll believe it's parody when they actually make some serious ruthless fun of the actual misogynist attitudes they're claiming to target. But they won't, because it's not really parody.

I wish I drank Dr Pepper so I could stop.

Maybe I should start drinking it now, and THEN stop! That'll show 'em!
posted by ernielundquist at 9:15 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Took me a while to remember this, but i'm also reminded of the ad campaign that was done in Slings and Arrows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGj78_eIsLg
posted by usagizero at 9:17 AM on October 13, 2011


The Yorkie campaign was actually quite astute, as more or less 100% of chocolate advertising at the time was aimed exclusively at women, leaving a man-sized niche in the market. This? not so much.

It also featured women and was actually funny.
posted by Summer at 9:24 AM on October 13, 2011


Just to add that the Yorkie ad was all about women and their strange conceptions of what masculinity means. How many ads have done that? I have very fond memories of those Yorkie ads. Yorkie chocolate, by the way, is disgusting.
posted by Summer at 9:27 AM on October 13, 2011


I, ummmm, killed a two litre. Liked it better than Diet. I need to watch my weight due to blood sugar issues and am so sick of the weird bitter flavor of most sweeteners. It wasn't a sweet as the regular kind but didn't seem to have that bitterness either.
posted by Samizdata at 9:29 AM on October 13, 2011


I think it's sort of possible that like, most women might be smart enough to get the joke, at least part of it, perhaps. I dunno. The movie in that commercial looked SWEEEET.
posted by ReeMonster at 9:34 AM on October 13, 2011


I don't really follow the premise of the ad campaign, even on its own terms. If diet drinks are for women, and if it then follows that the regular 100-calorie drinks are for men - where does that place the 10-calorie drinks? On the man-woman spectrum, it makes you 90% women and 10% man. Right?

So by this logic the campaign should probably be "Dr. Pepper Ten - the drink for when you mostly feel feminine but are maybe a little in denial about it"
posted by naju at 9:49 AM on October 13, 2011


Husband reacts with deer-in-headlights look as if stunned at being caught in the act. Fade to product over.

That Yoplait ad series has got to be the most bizarre product campaigns ever. A brittle, unpleasant woman minutely and obsessively micromanages her boyfriend/husband's refrigerator foraging (I mean, who even does that?) and turns him with a disdainful look into a mewling, cowering poltroon. What mystifies me more than anything is that the yogurt ads will go off the air for a period of several months and then appear all over again, with the same micromanaging sneer and the contemptuous "BABE" attached, and the same deer-in-the-headlights look from the hapless man. It's some sort of weird, twisted meta-commentary on gender and power (maybe a twist on old 1950s and 1960s food and coffee ads that had the same patronizing attitude, but with the genders switched? but who in the target demo would even know/care?), as are a lot of these "men are complete imbeciles" commercials that have proliferated in the past 5-10 years, that should probably get a well-deserved and proper fascinating academic dissection.
posted by blucevalo at 9:56 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: "Link to the facebook page? Anything interesting there? Can they really exclude women from groups? What about the people who never selected a gender? I saw this ad last night and was a little surprised, but not totally RAR or anything about it just "Wow, that's an odd take""

Well in addition to the facebook app that is all "ha ha women can't comment" (though contrary to the marketing, women can, they just tend to be deleted really quick) there was the domestic violence joke that went up and stuck around, for one. They let that stay while deleting any comments from men and women complaining about the ad campaign, or calling it sexist/misogynistic- even in calm, non-threatening language. Comments like the domestic violence joke from men are allowed to stay, but anything against the ads, the company’s defense of said ads, or the men-only app they put out on facebook gets removed as swiftly as possible. The first day or two of the facebook page was a cavalcade of spam reports and deletions.
posted by ShawnStruck at 10:00 AM on October 13, 2011




Yes, it's very sexist.

Also, the biggest action film fan I know is my mom, and both of my aunts are pretty fond of them too. If marketing types think that all action film fans are men, they are seriously missing out on a lot of customers.
posted by jb at 10:06 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]




Also, Yorkies aren't for people who like chocolate. That stuff is disgusting brown sugar-wax.
posted by jb at 10:08 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I still want to try prunes. Seemingly difficult to find in grocery stores though. Or am I looking in the wrong place?
posted by josher71 at 8:57 AM on October 13 [+] [!]


Try prune juice. It's a warrior's drink.
posted by jb at 10:17 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't really follow the premise of the ad campaign, even on its own terms. If diet drinks are for women, and if it then follows that the regular 100-calorie drinks are for men - where does that place the 10-calorie drinks? On the man-woman spectrum, it makes you 90% women and 10% man. Right?


It's gassy sugar water. It's doesn't make you anything. The product is entirely it's advertising. The whole point of consumerism is not that you buy the products, it's that you buy into the product's narrative as constructed by its marketing. A woman who buys this drink "to judge for herself" is not really judging anything, because the notion that a soda tastes more or less masculine or feminine is nonsensical. She isn't bucking the sexist campaign, she's using the product to prove to herself and others that she is the kind of person who stands up to sexism. The product is the means to an end that exists only in here head and the heads of others that share her cultural framing. The product is a fetish object, imbued with all these special powers to helps us interrelate to others who are programmed the same as we are.

The problem many comments have in this thread is that they are reluctant to confront or abandoned this behavior, because they like how it works for them in other areas. In other words, it's easy to mock a message that "this diet soda is manly," but to mock the systems that produce those kinds of messages means also rejecting the message that "Using a Mac makes me seem more creative" or "writing in a Moleskine notebook makes me an intellectual" or "these narrow glasses make me cool and trendy."

They are all equally bullshit. They are simply the object you project your own fantasy onto, and more likely than not your fantasy--your desire to be cool or intellectual or whatever--is itself created by the advertising. The soda campaign is not more egregious than the I'm a Mac campaign or beer commercials with girls in bikinis.

Think again about this campaign. It only works if you accept that the behavior exhibited by men in the facetious ad is itself manly behavior. That's the hustle, and all the women complaining about it being sexist feel for the trap. Because what's in the ad is not manly behavior. The ad isn't about men or women. It's about media fictions that people accept as being real, even though they have no basis in reality.

It's gassy sugar water. Do you like the taste? If yes, then buy, if not, then don't. If you apply any more thought to the decision than that, you lose.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:29 AM on October 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Remarkably, we've gone this far and nobody has pointed out that it's "Dr," not "Dr."
posted by ambient2 at 10:35 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


pastabagel do you want a hug
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:43 AM on October 13, 2011


Remarkably, we've gone this far and nobody has pointed out that it's "Dr," not "Dr."

Men don't get periods.
posted by emelenjr at 10:45 AM on October 13, 2011 [12 favorites]


why the fuck don't they make cinnamon soda

BRING BACK PEPSI HOLIDAY SPICE PLZ.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:45 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


pastabagel you know that even if it is not intrinsically true that other people may treat you different based on the products you wear and consume? because of society?

but thats cool, ur a free thinker bro
posted by beefetish at 10:54 AM on October 13, 2011


but thats cool, ur a free thinker bro

If you're a free thinker too, you'll love new, improved Think-Os!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:26 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Remarkably, we've gone this far and nobody has pointed out that it's "Dr," not "Dr."

If I ever wrote a book, one of the characters would be named "Dr. Legos".
posted by inigo2 at 11:30 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Think-Os, the Reality-Based cereal

now with extra Reason
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:34 AM on October 13, 2011


stays crunchy in our demon-haunted world
posted by beefetish at 11:50 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


stays rational in milk
posted by beefetish at 11:50 AM on October 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I honestly can't understand why people drink soda. That shit is so unhealthy. Might as well take up smoking as drink soda.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:30 PM on October 13, 2011


Soooooo sweeeeet and fizzzzzzzzzy.....
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:34 PM on October 13, 2011


You want funny gender-specific marketing, look at "Alpha Nail" polish for men. Strictly for MMA fighters and rockstars who want to enhance their masculinity by paying four times more for the same thing their girlfriends use. ALL of their girlfriends, because they get a lot of action if you know what I mean.

(As an androgyne/non-binary gender variant myself, I just buy my nail polish at Target or Walgreens. So far not one eyebrow has been raised.)
posted by Foosnark at 1:31 PM on October 13, 2011


I honestly can't understand why people drink soda.

Then you're going to have a hard time figuring out how to get them to stop.

Might as well take up smoking as drink soda.

Although I personally drink soda only rarely because it is unhealthy, this hyperbole is totally untrue.
posted by grouse at 1:40 PM on October 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Do you like the taste? If yes, then buy, if not, then don't. If you apply any more thought to the decision than that, you lose.

Image is nothing. Thirst is everything. Obey your thirst.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:06 PM on October 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Snopes wants to talk to you about the whole "Dr. Pepper is prune flavored" thing.

Oh... so there's nothing good about Dr Pepper.
posted by fuq at 3:24 PM on October 13, 2011


Honorable John: "I mean, not to be pedantic, but the perception I have is that it's made by people who think I'm an idiot."
They do think you're an idiot. It doesn't matter if you aren't, because there are plenty of idiots to make a profitable market for pretty much anything.


Linda_Holmes: "It never really occurred to me to find this campaign offensive to women."
I don't think this ad is offensive to women, men or anything in between. But if there is any gender-based group that should be offended by this, it's men.
posted by dg at 3:37 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


New rule: whenever an ad campaign makes it onto the blue, it's a successful ad campaign.
posted by Michael Pemulis at 4:34 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


And Dr Pepper mixed with tequila makes me want to vomit.

It's the Dr Pepper, not the tequila. Don't mix booze and shit.

Their commercials are stupid, and their drink tastes foul.

All that needs to be said.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:25 PM on October 13, 2011


In Australia, sweet flavoured milk is HUGE amongst blue collar workers. It's marketed almost exclusively to such a demographic. Blue collar, and maybe also your blokey layabout type.

If I ever find myself near a lunch bar in an industrial area, big laughs to be had watching burly, steel-toecap-boot-wearing men filing out by the dozen with their pink, green, and brown sugary milky treats.

Back in the day, flavoured milk was marketed to the "cola crowd," and their adverts were v.similar. Young, hot bodies, both sexes, at the beach and having fun. Somewhere along the way they decided manual labourers and male goof-offs were a better target.

Anyway, my point. I was searching around for some examples and it looks like the marketing boffins might be having another go at plan A, so I take back that "marketed almost exclusively" comment.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:36 PM on October 13, 2011


Although I usually have a lot to say on sexism/feminism topics, this particular instance just makes me tired. Especially the "don't compare sexism to racism because they're totally different, you idiot" stuff. About eighteen zillion products are created and marketed on the basis of a supposed vast difference between men and women, up to and including the idea that men and women are forever at war with each other. It's vastly, terribly sad.

But the topic of Dr Pepper interests me more. There's the big regionalism thing with it, with DP being common and popular in the South and Southwest while being rare to nonexistent elsewhere, particularly the Northeast. And it seems to me that those for whom Dr Pepper is or was unfamiliar, there's a much greater likelihood that they'll find it utterly disgusting in flavor. Those of us who grew up with it are more likely to merely dislike it, if we don't like it.

Personally, I love it. It's my favorite soft drink, although not so much that I don't drink others. It's interesting because other than root beer, which is a genuinely American homemade beverage that long predates colas and the weird health tonic culture which gave rise to them, Dr Pepper is pretty much the only cola-like non-cola. It's really quite different than cola, but it's clearly inspired by it. It's a complex flavor that, to me, doesn't have any identifiable components. It's its own thing. True, it's even sweeter than the sweetest cola.

Does anyone still drink Dr Pepper hot anymore? That used to be a thing, I understand.

Speaking of root beer and sarsaparilla, I love a good one of those even more than any soft drink. A few years ago, I went a little crazy when I found an online shop that sells almost every kind of soft drink you can think of. Actually, I think I found a root beer review site and then went looking for somewhere I could order their most highly rated root beer. I ended up buying about twenty bottles of a variety of craft root beers and sarsaparillas. It was awesome. I don't care what Quark says about root beer, it's ambrosia.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:01 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


None of the above. The easiest way to get women interested in something is to say they can't do or have something. Regressive rebelliousness ensues. Pure genius.
posted by cuomofied at 6:06 PM on October 13, 2011


The easiest way to get women interested in something is to say they can't do or have something.

For decades you couldn't buy Dr Pepper here. Could not have. But you always heard pop culture references in movies and TV etc. It became this mystical, magical drink in my imagination.

Same with Hershey's products.

So it's crap, eh? I still haven't tried it!.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:19 PM on October 13, 2011


God, you don't want to bother trying any mass-market American chocolate. It deservedly has a horrible reputation. I don't really understand what the deal is with American chocolate. Maybe someday the same thing will happen with chocolate here that happened to coffee.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:41 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've seen ads for tea like this around here that say things like 'for when a man's emotional side was his wife'. Ugh.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:03 PM on October 13, 2011


For decades you couldn't buy Dr Pepper here. Could not have. But you always heard pop culture references in movies and TV etc. It became this mystical, magical drink in my imagination.

I wondered why my friends freaked out about it!
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:05 PM on October 13, 2011


I like my Dr. Pepper in this form.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:24 PM on October 13, 2011


I remember the first time I ran across "Men's Pocky". It was just... so incredibly fucking bizarre, my brain actually froze for a bit. I guess the implication is that dark chocolate is manly or something, I dunno. I don't think it's even supposed to be ironic.

Of Pocky's large and varied range, my ladyfriend buys exclusively Men's Pocky out of some odd sense of rebellion against the patriarchy. I steal as much of them as i can from her, 'cos I'm a man and therefore it's *mine*.

So, Pocky's marketing is working, at least in my house.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:25 PM on October 13, 2011


uncanny hengeman: "In Australia, sweet flavoured milk is HUGE amongst blue collar workers. It's marketed almost exclusively to such a demographic. Blue collar, and maybe also your blokey layabout type."

Most (if not all) of those products are made with low-fat milk, too. Do you think the packaging mentions that? Not bloody likely, because no real man would be caught dead drinking that girly low-fat crap.

They are no longer packaged as 'flavoured milk' the way they used to be either, because drinking milk is for kids.
posted by dg at 10:22 PM on October 13, 2011


I found out that 'milk bars' used to be real things.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:27 PM on October 13, 2011


There are milk bars in Japan, at least. For a while at least, there was a nursing bar in Kabukicho. Now the milk bars, as far as I know, are basically just stylish ice cream shops.

I just saw a new ad from Coke Zero that deals with the dietness really well with a dude protagonist. I quite enjoyed it.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:30 AM on October 18, 2011


A milk bar in Australia was not a shiny spacious milk bar like in Back to the Future. It's more often known as a "deli" nowadays. A milk bar [or deli or delicatessen] was a corner shop that sold milk, and lollies, and dodgy meat filled pasties in warmers, and crap, and maybe had a game of sit-down PacMan chucked in a dark corner.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:40 PM on October 18, 2011


Where I'm from a deli had delicious fresh sandwiches.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:47 PM on October 18, 2011


uncanny hengeman: "A milk bar in Australia was not a shiny spacious milk bar like in Back to the Future. It's more often known as a "deli" nowadays. A milk bar [or deli or delicatessen] was a corner shop that sold milk, and lollies, and dodgy meat filled pasties in warmers, and crap, and maybe had a game of sit-down PacMan chucked in a dark corner."

You forgot ice cream!!!!!
posted by dg at 9:03 PM on October 18, 2011


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