Drinks and dumb gender-based advertising gimmicks go hand in hand: see beer brewed "just for ladies" and "soothe your PMSing banshee ladyfriend with MILK", to name just a few in recent memory. But a new ad campaign from Dr. Pepper is taking things to a whole new confusing level with their campaign for Dr. Pepper Ten, a 10-calorie diet drink that's absolutely, positively "NOT FOR WOMEN."
Behold, the machismo-fueled commercial for the drink, which was apparently developed after the company's research found that men shy away from diet drinks that aren't perceived as "manly" enough.
Here's the interesting thing about this ad: At first glace, it seems overtly sexist toward women ("Hey ladies. Enjoying the film? Of course not. Because this is our movie and this is our soda," says the Commando-esque tropical warrior. "You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We're good."), and indeed, some women instantly fired back, writing to Dr. Pepper to protest the "alienating, offensive, and overall bullshit" campaign.
But beneath the knee-jerk initial reaction, there is another take, too: that the ad is actually more offensive to men. "Can Madison Avenue really not sell a 10-calorie soft drink to men without sweeping gender generalizations?...Who knew such a plague had befallen the national male psyche," writes The Frisky. "This commercial does nothing if not ridiculously pander to stereotypes," notes Advertising Wizards. "For f*ck's sake, you can be a man and pick up a can of soda that says "Diet" on it without recoiling like it was an erect penis. (Because no homo, you guys, seriously.)." Hear that, guys? Better get out and pick yourself up a gunmetal grey diet soda before someone questions your manhood.