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25 October 2011

"Dr." Pepper: It Must Just Be an Honorary Degree

I've been meaning to post on this new commercial from Dr. Pepper for a while.

"Dr. Pepper 10: It's not for women."

I seriously wonder how the folks who come up with these marketing campaigns are able to keep their jobs. Essentially, they are electing to preemptively discourage half of potential consumers from buying their product. It is the height of stupidity. Moreover, ads like this perpetuate the belief that men and women have innately different desires. Men like violent action movies, while women can keep their "romantic comedies." Men have their Dr. Pepper 10, while women can keep their "lady drinks," whatever those are.

Ironically, I'm sure that they initially set out to reclaim a male market for a low-calorie beverage assuming that only women are concerned with counting calories so, to overcome that stigma, they go over the top and end up with this commercial that abandons women all together in the process. Misguided on (at least) two levels.

Imagine if this dichotomizing type of advertising were extended to other social categories:
"Dr. Pepper 10: It's not for blacks."
"Dr. Pepper 10: It's not for the poor."
Why is it still OK to force a false gender binary in marketing but not these other socially constructed identities?

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