Dr. Pepper Ten: Gendered Soda Advertising

I’ll preface this post with a heads up: I took quite a few Women’s Studies classes at UNC. Graduating with a minor in Sexuality Studies, it was bound to happy. And, though I never planned on it, VOILA I ended up a feminist.  The name of my game is equality, women’s rights, and all that good stuff.  Imagine my horror, all that considered, when I saw this little gem on the television:

I’ll give you a moment to digest that.

Got it?


If you were too busy to watch the 30 second clip, let me give you the cliffnotes version:

Dr. Pepper Ten is a new product from Dr. Pepper that is their take on a “manly” diet soda. With only 10 “manly” calories, no longer will you seem like a lady drinking diet soda. You’ll appear tough, rugged, and bold drinking Dr. Pepper Ten.

And, apparently, it’s not for women.


I can’t even say that I’m bothered by the “No Girls Allowed” part.  Whatever. I don’t want your stupid soda anyway.

I think what really gets me is this idea that “diet” soda is only for women. Or that men can handle 10 calories but women can’t.  Or whatever inane thought process fueled this ad campaign.

You know what else is 10 calories?

  • 1 navel orange segment
  • A SINGLE Whopper (the malted milk ball, not the burger, crazy!)
  • HALF of a pecan
  • 2.5 pistachios
  • 3 green grapes
(big thanks to Self Magazine for doing that math for us all)
My vote for the least manly looking ten calories?

Pink Lemonade Crystal Light, gentlemen?

This isn’t the first ad campaign that’s been all about gearing a product towards macho men (see: Axe Body Spray, Old Spice body wash) and it’s not the first “diet” soda that is trying to be diet without actually calling itself diet (see: Coke Zero, Pepsi Max).  But the whole idea behind these drinks being more appropriate for males vs. females just seems a little outrageous.

Anyone remember the Diet Pepsi skinny can?

Bottom line: People like the taste of soda, and they also like reducing their caloric intake (whether it’s to be “skinny” like the can or fit like the Dr. Pepper Ten Manly Men). And if/when I see a dude drinking Dr. Pepper Ten, I’m not going to think he’s more manly. I’m going to think he’s insecure about drinking  “diet” Dr. Pepper.

It’s just where my mind’s going to jump now that Dr. Pepper has launched this campaign making me painfully aware that it has less calories than regular Dr. Pepper but more than Diet Dr. Pepper.

We’ll see how this Dr. Pepper Ten fares… I have to admit, I’d love to do a taste test with the 3 Drs. themselves to see where my flavor preferences go.  I figure it’s the same morbid curiosity that drives me to want to try Chick Beer. I want to know if there’s more to this soda than a flashy ad campaign that pushes gender roles down the throats of viewers.

What’s your take on this whole “gendered” soda advertising?

Have you tried Dr. Pepper Ten? What did you think?

A Lunch Fit for a… First Grader.

Hello hello, friends and neighbors!  Hope everyone’s starting their week off on the right foot, and enjoyed my Six Pack Sunday post yesterday, tying up any/every loose end that could possibly exist from my week.  Unfortunately, rounding out date night last night, I started to feel… a bit off.  Part of my gum is swollen (maybe a piece of food stuck in there, maybe an infection, I am at a loss) and my throat is a little swollen, and I’ve just been feeling a little… light.  When I went to dinner with the beau, I assumed it would pass once I got some food in my belly.  To my chagrin, the opposite happened. I felt a little dizzy, like I was going to float off my chair and into outer space, so we took the rest of the food to go and rushed me home.  Luckily, part of that food was a fried ice cream and since my boyf suggested maybe my blood sugar was low, we nibbled on that slowly when we returned to the apartment (blood sugar is helped by actual sugar, right? Math.)

This morning, when I woke up for work, I knew I couldn’t go in at 8:15 as usual, so I slept for an extra hour-ish, packed up some stuff, and head off to work.  The very worst thing about this gum problem is that I have nearly no drive to eat at all, primarily because… well, it just hurts.  Breakfast was a few bites of beans from last night, as well as a wheat thin or two (anything that made me feel like a person again) and lunch… Well, here it is:

Don't worry, I didn't steal it from any kids on their way to school...

Sandwich thin with some lowfat cheese melted on it, some Progresso Vegetable and Barley Soup (a personal favorite), and a sugarfree Jell-o Berry cup. I felt like such a little kid making cheese toast, but I knew it wouldn’t upset my stomach too much, and that it’d just be nice to get some food in my belly.  As far as eating it, it’s been slow going, but I’m chugging along and can’t wait for that sweet Jello to get in my mouth.

Sidenote: yes, those are Camel advertisements on my desk. No, I don’t use any tobacco products, but I do try to educate kids about substance use and boost prevention for a living!

Anywho, today’s workout will obviously be an easy one, taking it light on the elliptical maybe, with some biking thrown in there.  Not trying to push myself to sickness here.

In other news, has anyone heard of this Dr. Pepper Ten craziness?


From the site:

Introducing Dr Pepper TEN. 10 bold tasting calories with the same authentic 23 flavors of Dr Pepper. That’s a whole lot of taste in one can. Try it today and see why Dr Pepper TEN is not for women.

Wait a minute. What?  Did y’all catch that?  Try it today and see why Dr Pepper TEN is not for women. Ok. I’ll admit, I’m not a big soda drinker. Sure, I’ll have a cocktail with diet soda every now and then, but for the most part, I live and die by whatever comes out of my Brita filter (and whatever comes out of a keg).  But now, part of me wants to make this my new drink of choice, if only to say to the folks at Dr. Pepper, “Hey, dudes. Suck it.”

I just don’t understand what their thought process was behind this.  “Women hate calories… even 10 of them?” “Putting the word BOLD on a can will make men flock to this?” It’s a mystery…  Sort of like how Pepsi advertised the “skinny can” for their diet soda, trying to appeal to women and suggesting that “skinny is better.”

Wow, this can is tall AND sassy. ::rushes off to buy out Target::

I kind of think that this type of advertising is a little sexist, and a little sneaky.  But, having worked with media literacy for the past 2 years, I feel a little hyper-aware of any suspicious activity in the media world…

What do you think about this kind of advertising?

Would you buy a product advertised at women or women just because of the advertisement? Do you want to try this Dr. Pepper 10?

Here’s an interesting article about the different Dr. Peppers undergoing a taste test, if you’re into that kind of thing: Serious Eats Taste Test