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Angry Women Is Not What Dr Pepper Ordered


Dr Pepper 10 – the soft drink company’s testosterone-infused diet soda – failed to score a perfect 10 with men or women.

The “for men only” advertising campaign for its new 10-calorie quasi diet drink may be backfiring with both sexes, experts say. Dr Pepper’s perception with men 18 years and over has largely been flat since the campaign launched on Oct. 10 and has even tapered off since then, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex, a daily measure of brand perception among the public.

Men don’t like being made to feel self-conscious about their purchases, and women don’t like being excluded, the findings indicate. “The campaign appears to have driven women’s perception of Dr Pepper down, which may have an adverse effect on the overall brand’s sales of a product like Diet Dr Pepper,” according to Ted Marzilli, senior vice-president and managing director of BrandIndex.

The soda’s scores are worse than flat. The brand that was supposed to tempt men with can design of “gunmetal grey” and macho “industrial rivets.” For men, Dr Pepper’s buzz score went from 21. 5 on the day the campaign broke to 16.4. And, for women in the same period, the score started at a higher point – 32.9 – and has now sunk to 18.4, losing nearly half its score, Marzilli says.

Some marketing experts were surprised that the Dr Pepper Snapple group would poke fun at its female customers. (It was not immediately available for comment.) The television commercial shows a man running through a jungle with a laser gun while avoiding Styrofoam-like boulders: “It’s only 10 manly calories,” he says. “So you can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks.”

The ads apparently couldn’t carry off ironic machismo as well as Old Spice.


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  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to or tweet @SMPayDirt.