Dr Pepper Snapple Group has upset some female consumers on Facebook with a new ad campaign. Utilizing the tagline "It's Not For Women," the Plano, TX-based company was a national Facebook advertiser on Tuesday while pushing the new Dr. Pepper Ten product, a 10-calorie diet soda aimed at men.
Neither the soft drinks maker nor its ad agency, Deutsch LA, granted ClickZ News an interview about the effort.
One version of paid ad copy on Facebook: "Thou shalt not end a comment with = ). Like Dr Pepper Ten if you want to click unlike every time you see a happy face."
The Facebook ad includes a built-in video (watch below) that carries a similar "manly" theme. It's a :30 spot that will evidently run on network and cable TV.
And Dr Pepper's Facebook page on Tuesday was dedicated to the product launch, including an app dubbed "Dr Pepper Ten Man'ments" in a play off of the biblical Ten Commandments. One example of the Man'ments: "Thou shall not post pics of your outfit."
The page also involves games and videos themed in so-called manliness. For instance, there's a virtual shooting range where viewers can shoot at things like high heels and lipstick.
Numerous female Facebook users negatively chimed in on the brand's page:
Huh. I think my comment was deleted. Just cause I called this ad lazy, unoriginal and said I wasn't offended by it. That's interesting, Dr. Pepper. Don't want anyone to point out you could have done something more original to promote a new product than add some sexism to piss off the ladies? Smooth. Really smooth. (Just putting this back up, cause it was deleted. For a second time.)
I want to thank Dr Pepper Ten for keeping fat, ugly men off the streets and on facebook where they can complain for hours about women and defend their shitty soda.
i can't even believe this campaign is real. it's offensive, demeaning, and goes far beyond just a joke.
Also on the brand's Facebook page, there were unsavory posts about women in general from male users:
I for one applaud Dr. Pepper in their attempt to put women in their place. Well Done DP. Looks like you broads will have to continue drinking disgusting diet drinks or get fat like your mom. Kudos to whomever came up with this campaign!
Speaking with The Associated Press, Jim Trebilcock, EVP of marketing for Dr. Pepper, downplayed anger at the campaign. The drink and advertising were trialed in six U.S. markets before being rolled out nationwide, he said, and women weren't offended. Trebilcock told the AP that 40 percent of consumers who have tried the soda so far were females.
"Women get the joke," he said to the wire service. "'Is this really for men or really for women?' is a way to start the conversation that can spread and get people engaged in the product."
Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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