5 Reasons Why Dr Pepper 10 Failed

By now, you’ve probably heard about the Dr. Pepper 10 fiasco. The short version is that Dr. Pepper launched Dr. Pepper 10 trying to specifically market it for men, to the point that the tag line is, “It’s not for women.” Here’s 5 reasons why they fail.

1) Dr. Pepper fails at trying to replicate the success that Old Spice had with Isaiah Mustafa. The difference here is that Old Space was marketing to men by speaking to the women, and telling the women that their men aren’t the man they their man could be. Dr. Pepper 10 is marketing to men by speaking to men, but talking down to women. Bad move.

The Old Spice Guy and Me at Radian6 Social 2011
2) Dr. Pepper fails at trying to reach out to women. Sure they’re not trying to reach out to women through this ad, but I’m sure that Dr. Pepper 10 was developed because Diet Dr. Pepper’s primary market is women. I’m sure they’ll see declines in Diet Dr. Pepper’s sales to women as well.
3) Dr. Pepper even fails at trying to reach out to men. I’m not sure I know any men that drive around in the rainforest shooting lasers, but what about men that enjoy cross stitch, flower arrangement, or cooking? Are they not men too?
4) Dr. Pepper fails in playing the gender card.

“I suspect this is an example of where human insight counts? Diets = transgender. Fashion = transgender. taste = transgender. Gender targetting only seems to be relevant if selling fem hygiene products and PSA tests these days? Not that obtuse… I get the whole yummy mummy factor, but I can’t figure out why a main stream soda brand would play gender card.” @kcraft on twitter

5) Dr Pepper Irony Fail? On the flip side, Jim Edwards on BNET says that:

I hope Dr Pepper does not cancel its interesting new campaign for Dr Pepper…Even though the launch ad features a guy laser-fighting and snake wrestling his way through a jungle while criticizing romantic comedies…This campaign isn’t a chauvinist throwback. It’s a wry commentary on the marketing truism that men often don’t choose diet drinks. The ad virtually shouts its sarcasm — at one point the Schwarzenegger stand-in shouts “catchphrase!”

Edwards even goes on to compare it to British Chocolate bar Yorkie, who’s tagline is “Its Not For Girls.”

Does this mean that it’s ok? Does this mean that Yorkie’s campaign was perfectly fine? I don’t think so.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

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About Eric T. Tung

I'm Eric T. Tung, the principal social media consultant and founder of Quantum Mass Media and social media strategy consultant for Chatterblast Media. We specialize in new relationship marketing and engagement for companies large and small. Contact me for more information or for speaking availability. Thank You! View all posts by Eric T. Tung

2 responses to “5 Reasons Why Dr Pepper 10 Failed

  • thoughtelf

    Eric,thanks for including my thoughts in your post. Better yet there is that picture again just filled with hunkiness. ;-POh wait, that was a sexist comment, wasn't it?Jim's points are more relevant than my own, and likely more accurate. It is a fun parody. That said, I still think that playing up obvious gender stereotypes in marketing is a double-edged sword. And this is one example of a campaign now suffering blow back.Real question is – what will DP's follow up look like? Will there be a companion girly rom-com parody?

  • Aaron

    My opinion: not cool. Gender-based humor no longer works because most of us realize that it genuinely demeans us or someone we care about. Dr. Pepper 10 insults my fiancé because of it's message and it insults me because of what it is telling her – that somehow some manly product is too good for her (by inference, men are superior to women). If they really wanted to grab a masculine (notice I didn't say 'male'?) consumer base, then a better marketing strategy would be to give it a name like "D.R.-10" and just change the color scheme up, switching to earth-like metal tones. Then launch a commercial line that focuses on creative generalist humor like what Beer commercials excel at (remember "Real Men of Genius"?).To be honest, though, I don't see DP struggling with masculine consumers…so I can't help but wonder if this was a needs-based tactic, or an experiment in open mysogeny.

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