Dr. Pepper Ten Ad Critique

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.

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1 Response to Dr. Pepper Ten Ad Critique

  1. AMU says:

    I agree that this commercial reinforces stereotypes placed on both men and women. I, myself, identify as a woman and this advertisement annoys me. I find it bothersome that I cannot be a woman who likes guns and excitement and men cannot like romantic comedies because they are only for women. Sometimes I like romantic comedies and I know for a fact that I do not feel like more of a woman while watching them.

    After viewing the video, I decided to look through some of the spectator comments to see what other people felt about Dr. Pepper 10 ad. One comment in particular struck me and it goes as follows:

    “The belief that one_ sex (usually the male) is naturally superior to the other and should dominate most important areas of political, economic, and social life (dictionary,com) therefore by definition this commercial is not by any means sexist albeit slightly stereo-typical but it if saying “its not for women” as a catch phrase is sexist, then women only gyms are sexist to, this is just humorous forward marketing, try not to get so emotional.”- GHANDIFANBOY

    This comment peeved me because the author went on to say, “try not to get so emotional.” Many of the arguments against this commercial were based in logic. What are we if we do not question what we see on screen and try to better ourselves by not being brainwashed by what some would call “humor”. This humor is the foundation for the logic that places woman as second in comparison to men. This humor degrades the wants and needs of women. In the commercial, its clear that what women want is lame in contrast to what men are interested in and that’s why Dr. Pepper 10 is not for women because Dr. Pepper 10 is better than women. This commercial places an inanimate object above women.

    Another angle to consider is that the commercial was meant to also push women into drinking Dr. Pepper 10 because they were told it was not for them. This is a reverse psychology tactic that goads people into doing things that would not have normally done, but since they were told that they could not do it, they wanted to do it with more fever. People often want what they cannot have and the Dr. Pepper advertisers are taking advantage of the fact that many woman aspire to have the status men have, which stems from Simone de Beauvoir’s idea in “The Second Sex” that men are primary and women are the second order, otherwise known as the “other” in the gender binary, so women who try to act like men are only trying to climb the social ladder. This is somewhat proven by the fact that 40% of the people who have tried Dr. Pepper 10 were women and they weren’t offended by the commercial (1).

    This is a serious problem. More women and men need to question what is being spoon-fed to them by advertising agencies. These corporations are capable of doing advertisements that do not rely on gender stereotypes so heavily, but this is only if we allow ourselves to appreciate those advertisements.

    (1) Anderson, Mae. “Dr Pepper Ten ‘not for women.’ USA Today. October 2011. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/story/2011-10-10/dr-pepper-for-men/50717788/1

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