No, Dr. Pepper. We Can't Swallow This Joke
Here we go again. Predictably, the interwebs are up in arms over a not-so-recent but recently expanded Dr. Pepper campaign promoting its "for men only" product Ten. Ten is being heavily marketed towards men. Nothing wrong with that per se. But it's being done with the intentional exclusion of women. In a commercial that's been out since April, at least on YouTube (yea, we know. why is everyone just getting to this now?) a man who appears to be in a macho, shoot-em-up movie stops, turns to the camera and asks, "Hey ladies. Enjoying the film? Of course not. Because this is our movie and this is our soda. You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We're good."
The campaign's detractors have taken to the brand's Facebook page and mince no words calling the work, "sad, outdated, pathetic and sexist." Of the tagline, another commenter wrote, "'Not for women?' Most moronic slogan. Ever. Which advertising idiot are you going to have to fire when you start losing record sales?"
Here's where you all expect us to saddle up our high horse, hop on and inform all you namby pamby naysayers to shut up and get a life, right? Well, surprise, surprise, we're not going to do that. Why? Well, aside from the fact this ad is just plain terrible - mostly because its unbelievably cheesy and just plain lame - there's really no reason to pit one sex against the other when it comes to targeting your product to one sex over another.
It's perfectly fine to market a product with certain traits to an audience a marketer thinks is most likely to consume it. A well defined product with well crafted messaging and effective targeting will find it's market just fine without the need to actively denigrate another.
Dr. Pepper could just as easily said this product was for men, marketed it to men and crafted messaging effective at swaying men but they didn't have to trash women while doing so. There's a big difference between marketing a product to a niche audience. It's entirely another thing to crap on other audience who, by the way, are perfectly good Dr. Pepper customers willing to by all kinds of other Dr. Pepper products. But not if the brand positions them as less than important to the brand than men.
Of course, we have no problem with beer brands using scantily clad women to market their swill to us because, well, because we're just illogically duplicitous like that.