Sexism Shouldn’t Sell

Dr. Pepper Ten: it’s not for women,” proclaims a recent commercial for Dr. Pepper’s new diet soda targeted for men, the population cohort that tends to reject other diet drinks on the supposed premise of “girliness.”

The first time this ad played on my TV, I didn’t think anything of it. To be honest, I thought the stereotypical manly man portrayed in the commercial was a comedic insult to men. But the thing that’s causing the controversy is the tagline: it’s not for women.

I was surprised that I didn’t have a bigger problem with it, but I think the reason for my apathy is that Dr. Pepper’s brand new marketing scheme is so unoriginally, archaically sexist that it’s irrelevant.

I just don’t get it. I want to find the mastermind behind this genius marketing tactic and remind him that sex sells, not sexism. I really could not care less if a specific group of men needs ten manly calories to help them sleep at night, but I just don’t want to have to hear about it.

The big fuss about Dr. Pepper Ten is that we technically aren’t supposed to drink it, and the Facebook fan page displays the same sentiments; only male Facebook users can access the drink’s page and enjoy enlightening games that include shooting girly items. As women, we’re used to being degraded in commercials and marketing schemes, not excluded.

Axe body spray and shampoo commercials show women flinging themselves at men; Allstate likes to depict the stereotypical women driver (aka a bad one) crashing into unsuspecting victims; and most car commercials depict women as accessories, not potential customers. Sexism in ads, towards both men and women, is commonplace in our society.

While it seems a bit outdated to be excluded from such a coveted diet soda, I don’t think the answer is to go and support it. Contrary to popular belief, purchasing the ten calorie drink is not going to “show those guys” anything.

I wish this whole controversy had been avoided. And I think it could have. Simply adding a just would solve the problem: it’s not just for women.

Dr. Pepper Ten is not a threat to feminist principles or an attack on women any more than the next sexist ad that pops up on the screen. At this point, I’m annoyed and apathetic (yes, that’s possible). I guess it’s just good that I have been and will always be a Coca Cola girl for life.