For the final 11 days of 2011, we’re going to take a look at some of the top mistakes made this year in our industry… including social media, marketing, branding, graphic design, web design and SEO.

#11-Dr. Pepper 10 does not score a 10 on advertising

When Dr. Pepper came out with its new Dr. Pepper 10, we were curious. After all, several people on our staff are not big fans of diet drinks so having a lower calorie option that potentially didn’t have much aftertaste sounded like a little drop o’ heaven.


We were even OK with the idea of choosing men as the target audience because after all, it seems to have worked for Coke Zero and Pepsi Max, which are both “revved up” versions of the standard diet drinks. The idea was that men, who stereotypically are not inclined to choose diet drinks (especially those that are marketed to women), can have a lower calorie drink without the girly advertising.

But the ads that came out for Dr. Pepper 10 (a drink that is not as sweet as standard Dr. Pepper and only has 10 calories a serving) went over the top. The macho campaign declared the product “not for women” and was a little obnoxious in how it portrayed “manly men.”

We’re not against gender-specific advertising, not at all. But to try so hard to reach one audience that you alienate another potential audience just isn’t smart… especially when the alienated audience is statistically the group of people who are more likely to be making the shopping choices.

Dr. Pepper should have looked to Coke Zero and Pepsi Max for ideas on how to attract men’s attention without making a lot of women shoppers really, really annoyed.

Interested in reading more? Check out this article about Dr. Pepper 10.