As I was just watching Game 5 of the ALCS, a commercial came on the boob tube for Dr. Pepper’s latest offering: Dr. Pepper 10.  The “10” in the name refers to the calorie count, which officially makes this beverage a diet soda.  Now you might be thinking – doesn’t the Pepper already make a diet soda? – and the answer would be, yes, Diet Dr. Pepper.

But knowing that diets sodas, in theory, can be less appealing to men, the sharp folks in the marketing department decided to take an unconventional route in the promotion of this soda.  The tagline?

It’s Not For Women.

Um, clever?  While the ads for this drink are clearly tongue-in-cheek with their over-the-top manliness, I think they fall pretty flat.  On one level it is a slight rip-off of the now transcendent Old Spice campaign in its outlandish testosterone use, and on another level, it’s just not a great idea – it’s labeled as not for women, but does that make it appealing to men by association?  Yes, the packaging is now a “rugged” gun-metal gray, it uses HFCS instead of aspartame (chills), and it is getting decent reviews, but will this soda sell?

My guess is that it will end up like Pepsi Max, living on the fringes of the soda aisle, between Jamaica Jarritos and Tab.  I think the market is already well-served with the regular Pepper, diet Pepper, or if you are really lucky, the Dublin variety.  There is saturation, and then there is over-saturation.  I think we are at the latter, and the marketing is not innovative enough to overcome it.

What do you think, readers?  Does this campaign work?  And more importantly, would you buy this soda?

H/t to The Daily Caller for picture at top.

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6 Responses

  1. Alana

    As a female and a bit of a feminist, it kind of makes me think, “Dr. Pepper doesn’t want my business. I guess I won’t be buying any Dr. Pepper – whether it has a 10 on the bottle or not.”

  2. Tim

    Looks whack! I say preserve the categories of non-diet (real sugar, or hfcs) versus diet (chills inducing chemicals, see article) soda, and don’t confuse consumers with this suspicious mingling of sweeteners. Me, I’ll stick with my Mexican coke down here in San Diego (cane sugar) which is wildly popular… there ain’t no diet or quasi-diet version anyway! Just pure natural high-caloric bliss.

  3. Jim

    Agreed… This campaign is a flop. I didn’t even put together the fact that Dr. Pepper 10 is a diet story, technically. I thought they just had a bad campaign during the baseball playoffs because of the overwhelming percentage of men who watch baseball on TV.

  4. KSue

    I’m with Alana… Although I know that it’s a “joke” – if they don’t want my business as a woman, they won’t get it. No problem. And I love Dr. Pepper, but I feel no need to try their “man” drink. Their loss!

  5. Barbara

    The new Dr. Pepper 10 is GREAT! Can’t get it anywhere, only in single bottles and want to replace this 10 calorie drink with regular Pepper. This saves me from having to stop drinking soda on my health kick and still have the best of both worlds. I’m in Shoreline, WA (outside of Seattle) so if you have anyway of getting this in stores out here, please let me know. Thanks!


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