Manly Men Will Only Drink Macho Diet Soda (That’s Dr. Pepper Ten’s Philosophy)

You’re probably expecting an avowed feminist like myself to put a diet soda commercial marketed to men with guns, ATVs and snake attacks on blast. It’s true, Dr. Pepper Ten’s new ad declaring “It’s not for women” is dripping with machismo like beads of sweat pour off a gator hunter in the Florida sun. But the commercial is a lot more sexist towards men than it is towards women. Yes, men are victims of sexism, too. Can Madison Avenue really not sell a 10-calorie soft drink to men without sweeping gender generalizations?

As obnoxious a tagline as “It’s not for women” is, the macho-macho-men in the Dr. Pepper Ten ad seem self-mocking to me — like the ad knows it’s over-the-top, ridiculously macho. It’s obvious it’s a joke about appealing to men by being manly, as the less-fair sex supposedly won’t drink Diet Coke because diet beverages are too effeminate. Who knew such a plague had befallen the national male psyche.

At the risk of stereotyping an entire gender, I don’t think dudes put too much thought into whether their choice of diet soda makes them seem “less manly.” (Fruity pink alcoholic beverages with little umbrellas, on the other hand…) It seems more likely that Dr. Pepper marketing professionals are “creating a problem” for which it has to create a solution, aka Advertising 101. If you tell men this beverage is just for them and appearing “girly” is something they should worry about, maybe more men will buy their products because you’ve put the idea into their heads that men drinking diet cola has a stigma attached. So while I chuckled at the humor in the commercial, I realize men’s self-esteem is being manipulated here.

What do you think about the Dr. Pepper Ten commercial? Tell us in the comments.

[USA Today]

Thank you Frisky reader Jim Behrle for the link!

Contact the author of this post at [email protected] Follow me on Twitter at @JessicaWakeman.