COLUMN: Sexist campaigns aren’t for me

-A A +A
By Shannon Brock

Marketing was not my major in college, and thus, I don’t claim to know anything about it.
However, to my untrained brain, any marketing move that blatantly eliminates half of a potential customer base doesn’t seem to be a good one.
Dr. Pepper recently released a new product that features “10 manly calories” and boasts the slogan, “Dr. Pepper Ten: It’s not for women.”
Wow, OK, Dr. Pepper. Now that you’ve clued me in, I won’t buy your new product or any of the other ones.
Please, dear readers, someone tell me how this marketing strategy made it out of the corporate office, let alone onto YouTube, TV stations and radio stations across the nation.
My husband tried to calm my infuriation by saying this new campaign must mean Dr. Pepper is already primarily bought by women and the company was desperate to bring in some male customers.
Well, from now on, I hope they bring in only men because, as a woman, I’m more than offended that my money isn’t as good as my husband’s when it comes to purchasing this product – even if the funds come from the same account and the cans  would sit in the same refrigerator.
Even my father-in-law, who sometimes in jest makes sexist comments with the sole intention of riling up my feminist side, said he wouldn’t blame me or any other woman for refusing to patronize that company any more.
I understand that men and women have different needs as consumers – I’m perfectly OK with Hanes marketing boxer shorts toward men. I don’t need them.
But I can see no reason that a soft drink should be gender specific.
But then again, sports radio shouldn’t be gender specific either, but I’m hit continuously with man-minded commercials.
Just because I like to hear analysis from the weekend NFL games doesn’t mean I should be subjected to a woman with a sexy, foreign accent reading a washing label because men don’t like commercials for clothing.
Yeah, I’m not too thrilled with JCPenney’s marketing department either.
But, I digress.
Thinking now, I might not be as ticked off if Dr. Pepper hadn’t taken to such a negative slogan – and I don’t mean negative in interpretation. I mean negative in structure.
Maybe the slogan “Dr. Pepper Ten. It’s for men,” would have ruffled my feathers just the same. But maybe not.
It’s a figurative slap in the face. The product isn’t just for someone specific; it’s not for me. All of my girlfriends? No, not for them. My mom? Nope, not for her either. Instead of being inclusive to men, it’s especially excluding to women.
Chances are it’s just a passing product, something that won’t last more than a few months, but until then, I’ll keep changing the channel when its commercial comes on and snubbing up my nose when I walk down the soda aisle.
Dr. Pepper Ten: It’s not for women. And I can tell you, by choice, it’s definitely not for me.