Okay, so this campaign confuses the fuck out of me.
Who is it aimed at? Dr. Pepper seems to think that the campaign is “tongue-in-cheek”, but they are trying to get more men to drink their diet products. But how many men will truly be comfortable with enjoying this campaign, whether in a tongue-in-cheek or in a serious way?
If you don’t see the misogyny in this campaign and take it seriously, you belong to a small sub-group of men who would have been much cheaper and easier to target, and aren’t numerous enough to justify such a large campaign. If you do see the misogyny in this campaign, even if you’re not annoyed about it because it’s misogynist, would you really choose to associate yourself with the lumberjack-trucker-flannel shirt type of guy who can’t drink diet soda because it’s too girly? In the times of skinny hipster jeans, macs and sleek smartphones, I kind of doubt that.
I can see it addressing a young demographic, 11 to 16-year-old boys. But then it should read “it’s not for girls”. “Women” brands the campaign as too old, it places it into a demographic where I can’t see it having much of a pay-off. Not to mention the fact that a campaign like this will always cause controversy and bad press. Which can be good if the campaign itself is good enough to reach the people whose attention is drawn to it because of the bad press, but as I said, I don’t think that’s the case here. It’s just not in the spirit of current cultural trends and developments. Sure, the sexism pendulum is swinging back and feminism is losing ground, but this kind of campaign is crass enough to hit a nerve that especially right now seems to lie bare. Women will get pissed off, and men won’t want to associate themselves with this kind of 1950s mentality.
Bottom line, I think it’s a shitty campaign that completely misses the mark. And then there’s also the fact that personally, I just find it gross.
For more info on the campaign, check out the article linked in the sounce.