Overall, I think the purpose of this advertisement is to say ‘men can drink this low calorie soda, even though diet sodas are stereotypically associate with women’. The goal is to take away this gender divide and make it okay for everyone to drink low calorie soda, but the vehicle of this message is incredibly offensive to both sexes.
Lorber, in talking about gender as a process, states “individuals learn what is expected, see what is expected, act and react in expected ways, and thus simultaneously construct and maintain gender order” (Lorber 115). This advertisement both teaches us what is expected and forces conformity. What defines men according to this commercial? They like action movies with plenty of shooting and explosions. What defines women? They like romantic comedies – not action (“of course not”), and they like “lady drinks”. A male watching this advertisement, although he may not align with these stereotypes, may not outwardly reject this advertisement because the implicit message is ‘if you don’t do these things, you’re not a man’. Being a male who is ‘not a man’ can bring harsh criticism, so males may choose to accept and perpetuate these expectations in the way Lorber describes. It is also implicit that females who like these things are not ladylike and aren’t true women. The slogan “it’s not for women” itself implies a multitude of stereotypes and further serves to create artificial barriers between sexes, much like the self-help books that try to help people cope with the supposed difference between men and women.
This commercial tries to break one stereotype (only women can drink diet soda) by associating it with many others. This portrayal of stereotypes serves to remind viewers of societally acceptable gender behavior, and then forces compliance through implicit insults.