What is Dr. Pepper's Facebook Man Cave Saying?


Dr. Pepper Ten, the new “diet” soda that has attracted national media hellfire, has been criticized for its overtly sexist ad campaign, with tag lines such as “Not for Women” and “Ten Manly Calories.” Its use of standard stereotypes, and blatant gender profiling for both men and women, complicates these accusations.
Issues of gender creep into pop culture in bizarre ways, and its stock portrayal of men is possibly symptomatic of a larger problem–the male identity crisis that is sweeping the nation.
After a study found that men don’t like diet soda, Dr. Pepper launched a ten calorie drink with sugar to be marketed exclusively to men.
The new Dr. Pepper Ten commercial stars two soldiers driving through the jungle, jumping off waterfalls, and, shooting at a bad guy. It ends with the tag line – You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks, we’re good. Dr. Pepper Ten, it’s not for women.
The commercial’s gender roles are cheeky and overblown but not quite as off-the-reservation as the new drink’s Facebook page which boasts that it is the manliest Tab on Facebook. A lady-free zone of rugged, macho, hair-on-your-chest awesomeness that’s definitely not for women.
Not only is the drink “not for women,” women are barred from its Facebook page. Chastity – I mean Chad – Bono, can log on, but when I try to do so, the site redirects me to Dr. Pepper’s website where I can supposedly find a drink suitable for a woman.
Gender, Power and Soft Drinks
For the third time in history, we are experiencing an unprecedented shift in gender power relations.  The first – women’s suffrage; the second – the 1970’s women’s movement; and, the third – the perceived diminishment of economic power for American men in a new global economy that has all but destroyed manufacturing and put a premium on education where women are outpacing their male peers.
American journalist Hanna Rosin claims that the “facts of the economic moment, not projections, are what’s causing the end of men.” This isn’t only a change in the way a gender is perceived, she argues, but rather a concrete shift in real, economic power.


For the first time in U.S. history, more than 50% of managers are women and more than half the work force is female. Women dominate all but two of the fifteen professions predicted to grow the most rapidly in the next decade.
The most shocking of all the gender war statistics is this – in fertility clinics across the nation, 75% of couples are requesting girls. Over two thousand years of the first-born male baby craze is rapidly dying out, along with the male prerogative of economic dominance.
The Dr. Pepper ad is just one instance of more important economic and cultural issues surrounding the distress of masculinity in American life.
Do Men Need Their Own Private Domain?
We’ve certainly been here before in less exclusive terms – the Marlboro man of the 1950s being the obvious example. Later, the “smell like a man, man” ad campaign for Old Spice lightened by mood – poking fun at the male stereotypes of adventurism and strength, Dr. Pepper has laid down the gauntlet by carving out a man-only space on the internet – a virtual man cave in which no women are allowed.
The pressures that women face to be unrealistically skinny, or surgically enhance their appearance derive from the same set of old gendered expectations for what it means to be womanly. The traces of expectation of cultural roles that have been steadily diminishing for the past forty years are not dead yet.
While many are quick to label Dr. Pepper Ten’s machismo branding as outrageously sexist, it may just be that corporate American (or its ad agencies) are attending to a male cry for help they’ve never heard before.
Forbes
What is Dr. Pepper's Facebook Man Cave Saying? What is Dr. Pepper's Facebook Man Cave Saying? Reviewed by Henrique Boclin on Monday, October 24, 2011 Rating: 5

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