“Not for Women”
Faculty: Beth Tauke
Gender discrimination has come a long way and it still shamefully remains as a very predominant part of most of the world’s societies. Discrimination generally speaking is nothing else but prejudiced and judgmental thinking that leads to reject a group of people based on their beliefs, appearances or behaviors 1. As it is obvious that discrimination based on gender is more prevalent in some cultures than others, it still plays a dramatic role in our society to the point where most of our life expectations and mind frames had been slightly shaped by our conceptions of gender. But to get a better understanding on this topic, it is necessary to analyze how we are affected by the media and the way products are advertised, and how can these forces have the power, to influence our thoughts about ourselves and other in the way they do.
2581275102870 Among the negative images that are often depict by the media, sexism is usually the most common, these stereotypical ideas of social roles based on sex had a lot to do with the way the media had portrayed gender differences over time, which had lead to distorted perceptions of what are considered to be acceptable patterns of behavior and appearance for both men and women. These mistaken conceptions appear to be even more evident, when we closely look at the foundations on which Dr. Pepper based its main slogan to launch its 2011 ad campaign for a then new series of low-calorie beverages that looked to appeal to the male public.
This ad campaign had the purpose to offer an alternative to regular diet soda and promote its consumption among men asserting the drink was “not for women” since diet beverages are commonly associated with women who are concerned about their weight, real men do not drink diet soda. This misconception of diet soda not being masculine enough, had been the result of strong social forces that had slowly influenced our cultural values and with them our perceptions of the world around us. Hence, is there a certain degree of masculinity on everyday products or are these just the pure reflections of our society’s sexist bias.
As it is pretty apparent, in this ad campaign Dr. Pepper appeals to the male ego and looks to support the idea that it is okay for men to drink diet soda. Having a manly drink that is not for women is encouraged in its commercial that shows men involve in “macho” kind of activities, and incorporates things men like such as action movies."Hey ladies. Enjoying the film? Of course not. Because this is our movie and this is our soda," a tough looking guy says, as he shoots a laser gun and attempts to pour the soda into a glass, during a bumpy ATV ride while suggesting “You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We’re good” 2. With this image, Dr. Pepper expected men to feel emotionally drawn towards the commercial and thus the drink.
Seeking to get as much attention as possible, the company introduced the ad campaign during college football games on major television networks such as FX, and ESPN 3. Since men typically like to watch sports, these networks were considerably the most effective media to direct the campaign to the targeted audience. Although, some aspects of the ad campaign may seem carefully thought out to get more men to try diet soda, the stereotypical portrayal of men, plus the sexist remarks used in the commercial were factors that weakened the ad campaign and the product itself, pushing away potential customers from even trying the beverage. As other soft drink companies such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola had also marketed their low-calorie product towards men, their campaigns have been less blatant than Dr. Pepper’s 4. Therefore, the campaign used to market this beverage could have been executed differently.
Advertisings such as this, can only create more division between genders, further demeans women image and encourage