10 Calories, 100% Manly

Earlier this week, Dr. Pepper introduced to a select few test markets a new reduced-calorie soda called Dr. Pepper Ten. Created for 25- to 34-year-old men who prefer regular Dr. Pepper but want fewer calories, the drink boldly positions itself as “Not for Women.” Here’s the commercial that’s set to air in test markets.

Why would a company want to cut out half of its potential customers, one might ask? According to an Advertising Age article on the subject, a rep for Dr. Pepper says that’s not what it’s doing. He says they’re “not out to alienate women, that the goal is to be direct and have fun.”

The article goes on to explain, “The packaging and marketing are both heavy on masculinity, but also clearly state the brand proposition, something Coke Zero and Pepsi Max struggled with.” So Dr. Pepper has decided to leave no room for questions like it’s competitors have in the past when targeting males with diet sodas—this is a man’s drink.

The company has identified an audience that has yet to be fulfilled by a low-cal soda and is marketing directly to it. Nothing wrong there. Still, the “not for women” slogan does come off a little extreme. Sounds “alienating” to me.

Dr. Pepper is clearly attempting to increase its market share—like the rest of us—but what do you think, offensive or all’s fair in love and advertising?

February 25, 2011 · Posted by in branding, marketing  


7 Responses to “10 Calories, 100% Manly”

  1. Pete Prodoehl on February 25th, 2011 8:29 am

    I found the commercial amusing (and totally cliché) but a “manly diet soda” I’m not so sure about… But then, I’m not their target market, and I don’t really drink soda.

  2. Olivia on February 25th, 2011 8:45 am

    I agree that Pepsi Max really hasn’t been able to successfully target the male audience, and the video definitely made me laugh. But do you think that by being so over the top and super-manly, they’re actually missing their audience? Does it seem so fake that men will actually ignore this as a result?

  3. April Dart on February 25th, 2011 8:59 am

    When I first read this article, I immediately informed a male friend (who is a huge Diet Dr. Pepper fan) of the “new, low-cal Dr. Pepper soda that’s not for women.” His response: “I want some!” Granted he didn’t watch the commercial, he was still excited about the prospect of his favorite soda becoming more manly. So maybe, Olivia, if the commercial doesn’t hit the mark, at least the slogan still does?

  4. Pete Prodoehl on February 25th, 2011 9:05 am

    Hard to say… I assume there’s still a large demographic of men who buy into the “manly things” idea, and might consider this a “manly drink” if the marketing is successful. Then again, if you’re up against Coke Zero and Pepsi Max, maybe taste preference and brand familiarity will win out in the end.

  5. April Dart on February 25th, 2011 9:13 am

    I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of the test markets.

  6. Kim on February 25th, 2011 11:15 am

    Not a big fan of the ad. But maybe that’s because I’m not a MAN.

  7. Pete Prodoehl on February 25th, 2011 11:20 am

    “10 manly calories!” is funny and stupid… sometimes that combination works.

    I won’t be buying Dr Pepper… but then, I tend to drink water… the original energy drink!