NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Diet soda is for chicks.
At least that’s the idea behind Dr Pepper Ten, a 10-calorie soft drink Dr Pepper Snapple Group rolled out on Monday with a macho ad campaign that proclaims “It’s not for women.” The soft drink was developed after the company’s research found that men shy away from diet drinks that aren’t perceived as “manly” enough.
To appeal to men, Dr Pepper made its Ten drink 180 degrees different from Diet Dr Pepper. Ten has calories and sugar unlike its diet counterpart. Instead of the dainty tan bubbles on the diet can, Ten will be wrapped in gun-metal grey packaging with silver bullets. And while Diet Dr. Pepper’s marketing is women-friendly, the ad campaign for Ten goes out of its way to eschew women.
There is also a Dr Pepper Ten Man’Ments Facebook page and an App for – you guessed it – men only. 10,570,200 people like this and the Dr Pepper page. However, others don’t. There is also a Facebook page “Dr. Pepper Ten/Stop Sexist Soda.”
Testosterone-heavy commercials are also hitting the airwaves. One spot shows muscular men in the jungle battling snakes and villains while apparently shooting lasers at each other.
Another spot says, “Hey ladies. Enjoying the film? Of course not. Because this is our movie and this is our soda,” a man says as he attempts to pour the soda into a glass during a bumpy ATV ride. “You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We’re good.”
We wanted to know what women in New York thought of the campaign so we asked them. Julie, a Web professional, said “My first thought is that there are skinny drinks targeted toward women, so why not.”
Deb, an office manager and self-proclaimed “consumer extraordinaire” said, “I think it’s sexist and I suppose then they’re telling me as a woman that I shouldn’t buy it. I used to love Dr. Pepper but now not so much.”
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
The company, which declined to give figures for how much was spent on the campaign, also worked hard to craft a macho message. The company said ads for Dr Pepper Ten will air on all major networks, FX and ESPN during college football games.
Jim Trebilcock, executive vice president of marketing for Dr Pepper, said he’s not worried that they’ll be offended by the campaign. The drink and marketing were tested in six different markets across the country before being rolled out nationally, and women weren’t offended, he said. In fact, about 40 percent of people who have tried the soda so far are women.
“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.”
Do you think the new ad campaign is offensive to women or just creative marketing? Sound Off below