Dr. Pepper-Snapple Group is set to roll out the new “Dr. Pepper TEN” on Monday. The product is “not for women” so the ad campaign proclaims. Evidently, men thought diet Dr. Pepper, with its little tan-bubbled can, was not manly enough for the muscled super-jock crowd. With this in mind, Dr. Pepper-Snapple Group introduces “Dr. Pepper TEN,” a ten calorie, full-flavor version of a diet Dr. Pepper.
The company came to the conclusion that men wanted something more from a diet drink than anything that was currently on the market after their research revealed that men, ages 25 to 34, were not satisfied with diet sodas. The “Dr. Pepper TEN” gives men an option for a low calorie version of a full-flavored drink. The can design features a very manly gunmetal grey color dotted with silver bullets. Can we get manlier than that?
Is the company going overboard in their effort to eschew women and does gender branding really work? Dr. Pepper Ten’s Facebook page baits women with their “for men only” advertisements. Then there are the commercials themselves, where muscle men battle snakes and shoot laser guns.
The ad campaign may very well prove to be a stroke of genius. Dr. Pepper-Snapple Group’s Executive Vice President for Marketing, Jim Trebilcock, says he is not worried about offending or excluding women. In fact, he says 40 percent of people who are trying the new Ten drink are women! Go figure! How many times have you told your kids they could not have something only to turn around and find them with the very thing you have forbidden?
Let’s sit and watch if women will stay away when they are told to do so. My best guess is, no they will not. Is this new anti-branding strategy a way we can use reverse psychology in marketing? Women are at least going to try the new drink. Then the drink will have to stand on its own merit. The question remains to be answered, is the new “Dr. Pepper TEN” drink really for men or women?