The video: Dr Pepper is going out of its way to appeal to men — and potentially offending both sexes in the process. After market research revealed that men eschew diet sodas because they aren't "manly," the soda company decided to launch a 10-calorie soft drink called Dr Pepper Ten that aims to be more masculine. The can is gunmetal gray, and an extensive campaign for the beverage boldly declares that "it's not for women." A Facebook page for the drink lists 10 "Man'Ments" like "Thou shalt not pucker up. Kissy faces are never manly." And a TV ad (watch it below) features men in a faux-action film. They shoot lasers, punch snakes, and jump off cliffs while drinking the beverage and telling women that they should drink their girly diet sodas and watch romantic comedies instead.
The reaction: "A soda? Sexist?" asks SodaHead News. In this case, absolutely. Sure, advertisers face a challenge in marketing diet soda to men, but "Dr Pepper is going above and beyond to offend its female consumers." Actually, "the commercial is a lot more sexist towards men than it is towards women," says Jessica Wakeman at The Frisky. "The macho-macho-men" in the ad "seem self-mocking to me," and the ad implies that "appearing 'girly'" is something guys need to worry about. "Men's self-esteem is being manipulated here." Judge for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 things you need to know today: December 18, 2014
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Capitalism isn't a cure-all for Cuba
- Dick Cheney's America is an ugly place
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- What is Jebonomics?
Subscribe to the Week