By now you may have heard that, at least according to a recent ad, Dr. Pepper Ten is "not for women." Now some women — and men — have taken to Facebook to protest this sentiment. And some are doing so in a pretty unproductive way.
The diet soda's manly ad campaign has been in the works for months, but it's been making headlines this week after the wide release of an ad featuring laser combat and other "masculine" activities. The writers of the ad seem aware of the silliness of their premise; at one point, the manly-man protagonist looks straight at the camera and says, "Catchphrase!" It's possible that the entire thing is a sophisticated joke about the dumbness of ads aimed at men, and the gendering of consumer products in general. But if that's true, Dr. Pepper VP of marketing Jim Trebilcock doesn't seem fully in on it. He tells the AP, "Women get the joke. '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."
Boy, that does sound like a fun conversation! Unfortunately for Dr. Pepper, it's not the one people are having. Says one commenter on the company's Facebook page, "Just heard about this Dr Pepper Ten; must've been too busy being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen." Another: "Rigid gender roles and rules are totally cool. Keep it classy, Dr. Pepper. It's a good thing you're here to tell us how to act and keep us all in our place." Then there are some less helpful arguments, like that advanced by one Billy Bialota: "Dr Pepper 10: Only good for filling cans with cement to throw at misogynists." While I appreciate his anti-misogyny stance, throwing cans of cement at sexists sounds neither effective nor appropriate. And I'm pretty sure that a conversation about using its product as a weapon is not the one Dr. Pepper wanted to start.