Looks like that Old Spice guy is pretty influential, and not everyone is happy about it. Last week, a holy stink was raised over the “man-ification” of the diet soft drink. But not any old paltry soft drink mind you, the stink was specifically directed towards the new Dr. Pepper 10 (“with only 10 manly calories”). The advert, (which in our opinion is clearly meant to be taken lightly as it displays stereotypical elements of masculinity so reductive and simplistic, only the hyper-sensitive would find any offense), features a burly, sweat painted man in the role of the quintessential action star, running through a jungle with a can of Dr. Pepper 10, explaining how this "is our diet drink", as it is clearly and decidedly “not for women”.
Well, surprise surprise; that didn't go over to smoothly. The culprit:
Yes, this features the veritable nightmare concoction of weighty gender generalizations and lazy comedy. The result? An exclusionary product that's taste is more bitter than sweet due to public pressure. But it reads worse than it actually is.
Dr. Pepper played a hand. A damn cleaver hand. And it was a hand that got slapped by an unsuspecting public. I'mean, it's not like this is a repeat of the MILK/PMS ad debacle back in July, (which was clearly ill-thought).
If we’re putting the kibosh on this type of lightweight satire for fear of a faux-outrage backlash, we’re in trouble as a members of the branding and marketing community. Let's hope that soon, this whole issue will simmer down and fizzle out like a 3-day old can of soda.
Links to consider: