In the jungle, a fist punches a snake. Lasers blast across the screen. A man in commando gear attempts and fails to pour a can of Dr. Pepper into a glass while hurtling through the bush in an ATV. Yes, it’s the new ad campaign rolling out for Dr. Pepper Ten diet soda being marketed at men, and women aren’t invited.
The new Dr. Pepper 10 soda says that unlike “girly” diet sodas, this one is for dudes. Regular Dr. Pepper has 150 calories and 27g of sugar. Diet Dr. Pepper has zero calories and zero sugar. Dr. Pepper Ten has 10 calories, 2g of sugar, and promising to provide the same “23 flavors” as original Dr. Pepper. Also, Dr. Pepper Ten comes wrapped in “gunmetal gray” and has four bullets on the label.
“Hey ladies. Enjoying the film? Of course not. Because this is our movie and this is our soda,” says the spokesman in the ad. “You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We’re good.”
After a series of ridiculous action movie events, the ATV skids to a stop and the guy turns the camera and shouts “Catchphrase!”
The ad is trying to capture those bros who are counting calories but think diet soft drinks make them look like sissies. The marketing then tries to get ahead of the backlash curve by doing the man-marketing over the top, and the post-modern twist of having the guy yell out “Catchphrase!” is meant to disarm and please irony lovers out there by making them feel smart.
The VP of marketing for Dr. Pepper says women won’t be turned off by the campaign’s message, telling the NYT that “women get the joke” and that 40% of those who have tried the drink are women.