Diet soda is for girls. Whether or not that assessment is in any way accurate is beside the point, because that’s the premise that Dr. Pepper is working with and the catalyst behind the brand’s newest creation: Dr. Pepper Ten, the diet soda for guys.
How do we know it’s for guys? Because the tagline in the commercial reads: “DR. PEPPER TEN: IT’S NOT FOR WOMEN.” Duly noted! The commercial itself is heavily bro-centric, an ode to action films with the soda’s pitchman shooting lasers, punching snakes, and barreling through a jungle at breakneck pace from the passenger seat of an ATV. “Hey ladies, enjoying the film?” he breaks the fourth wall to rhetorically ask. “Of course not! This is our movie – and Dr. Pepper Ten is our soda!”
It’s not the first time a soft drink manufacturer has rethought diet soda for a different audience. Coke Zero in particular – with its black packaging and product placement in movies like Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World – has courted the younger male demographic that might otherwise shy away from something with “diet” in the name. But Dr. Pepper Ten is the first to be so blatant about it in the same way that other products might be blatant about being just for ladies.
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The reason why is as easy as Marketing 101: it gets people talking. What’s more, Dr. Pepper isn’t worried about offending anyone. "Women get the joke," said Dr. Pepper VP of Marketing Jim Trebilcock. "'Is this really for men or really for women?' is a way to start the conversation that can spread and get people engaged in the product."
So now that we’ve established that Dr. Pepper Ten is totally different from girly diet soft drinks, we have to ask ourselves what exactly men want from a diet soda that women don’t. We went to the ingredient list, and found them to be pretty much the same. The only difference we found was the addition of three extra ingredients in Dr. Pepper Ten: acesulfame potassium (an artificial sweetener) and sodium phosphate (a preservative), and high fructose corn syrup to give the soda its trademark ten calories, two grams of carbs, two grams of sugar, and extra sodium. So apparently that’s the difference: guys don’t want no calories in their diet soda, just less. Maybe they need it for accumulating mass.