I saw this commercial for the first time the other day. Apparently there’s some controversy surrounding the commercial because of the soda’s tagline, “It’s not for women.” As a woman I wasn’t offended by the tagline as much as I was about the message this commercial sends about littering. Marketers are always trying to come up with new ways to appeal to different groups of people and garner attention along the way, so I didn’t think twice about the misogynistic tagline. If I want to drink the soda I will, regardless of what’s in the commercial. Doesn’t the Coca-Cola Company steer its Diet Coke marketing toward women? The Dr. Pepper TEN campaign is just being more obvious about it and going for shock value. I don’t think it’s a great way to go, but I’m not offended or surprised by it.
The part of this commercial that bothered me was when the ever-so-rugged leading man crushes the Dr. Pepper TEN can and tosses it out of the jeep, thereby setting off the trap for the bad guys behind them. When I saw this part I instantly thought, “Who is going to pick that up?” Seriously, what is this company thinking? They’re essentially endorsing the littering of their product. I know that sounds a little extreme, but it really bothered me to see the soda can tossed out of the car. Like it was an okay think to do. Like he does it every day. Like so many people do.
It was never more evident to me after seeing that lame commercial that littering is a socially acceptable thing to do. At least it must be to a majority of people. Based on this commercial, based on the litter I see around me, and based on the people I actually see littering out and about, we need a serious change in thinking. It’s not okay to toss a Dr. Pepper TEN can or anything else out of your car when you have no intention of picking it up. As a writer and producer of television commercials I like to think that I would never create something that sent such a horrible message. I know there is a more creative way to sell Dr. Pepper TEN than by excluding women and trashing our planet.
Ready for the kicker? The Dr Pepper Snapple Group cares about the environment! Or at least their website claims they do. Check out this page from their website on Environmental Sustainability. Under their Corporate Social Responsibility Report section it says, “Protecting and sustaining the environment is at the heart of our corporate social responsibility program.”
Um, Earth to DPS corporate headquarters– you might want to let the folks at the advertising agency know about your corporate social responsibility program ASAP.