A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.
By Nina Pajak
A friend who was living in London once gave me a candy bar she’d found there, because she thought I’d find it funny (and delicious). It’s called “Yorkie,” and the tagline on the bar reads “It’s Not for Girls.” The “O” in the product name has a stick figure female in the middle with a line going across, like so: Ø.
Oookay, I get it. It’s not for girls. Because it’s such a manly chocolate bar, no woman could handle its totally rad maxxxed out 100% diesel jackhammer AK-47 candy bar power. It will give your muscles muscles and put hair on your chest and wherever else you need hair if you’re a man, which is EVERYWHERE.
Also, it’s really gosh darn tasty. And I ate one, and it didn’t make me grow a beard and nobody came and punched me in the face because I disobeyed their silly, tongue-in-cheek marketing concept.
Now Dr. Pepper is trying its hand at this angle, with a new almost-diet version of the soft drink geared at men. Their theory: men don’t like Diet Dr. Pepper because it is perceived as a girly thing to drink. Only sissies and dumb girls drink zero calorie soda, because dumb girls are always on dumb diets and they say things like, “you don’t need the empty calories.” Real men don’t fear empty calories. Real men burn off the calories in a bottle of soda from working on their trucks and hauling lumber and practicing drums in their man caves. Real men need Dr. Pepper Ten!
It has ten manly calories and tastes sweeter than the sweat that rolls down your bulging bicep after an honest day’s work (men drink their own sweat, right?). Also, it’s sweeter than Diet Dr. Pepper. And it still won’t give you Type II Diabetes! Apparently, some women are insulted at the idea that a company would deliberately alienate the opposite sex in order to
sucker ah, I mean appeal to the male demographic. But men and women are biologically dissimilar, and our body chemistries demand different attributes from our soft drinks.
Ladies, stand down! Every ad campaign is for us, whether it be for cleaning supplies (which everyone knows are only for women) or food products, or retail stores. Men are always portrayed as dopey, bumbling, know-nothing dads, husbands and boyfriends to their wise, snotty female family members who obviously control both their lives and their wallets. You know, like how it is in real life. I mean, girlfriends – how many times has your idiot husband come home with the wrong cell phone plan, again? Or acted like your Yoplait yogurt belonged to his fat ass, when you were the one who was smart enough to buy yogurt in the first place? Or spent all your savings on a suit of armor? Or walked into a clean plate-glass window because he just doesn’t understand the power of Windex? Or didn’t appreciate the plug-in air freshener that you spent all day admiring? If I had a nickel!
I commend Dr. Pepper for coming up with a marketing strategy for men that doesn’t stereotype or condescend in any way whatsoever.
And also, really, for having a little bit of a sense of humor when it comes to any of this nonsense. If we’re going to be treated as predictable morons, it had better at least be funny.
I’m certain that any girl can walk into any store and buy herself a Dr. Pepper Ten if she really wants one. But honestly, are you going to waste ten whole empty calories on principle?
I didn’t think so.
Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.
Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.
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