Second Dr Pepper Ten Commercial: Just As Manly

Dr Pepper has put out their second commercial and it’s just as male-focused as the first one.  Using other stereotypical testosterone-based examples, such as drill bits, desert target practices, and big TV screens, the commercial further enforces the point that it is a man’s drink.  The tagline remains the same, ending with “It’s Not For Women”.

As Dr Pepper spokepeople and industry insiders indicate that the low-calorie soft drink is a success at gaining new trial users at minimal cannibalization, Dr Pepper needs to remind consumers that it’s a better option than some of the more calorie-heavy drinks – it needs to increase its repeat consumption among men.  It’s main competition right now appears to be defending against the Pepsi Next launch, which was launched nationally in U.S. late last month.  At a point when awareness is high and feedback for Next isn’t completely positive, Dr Pepper inserts their low-calorie offering into Next trial users’ consideration set to let them know there is an alternative out there.  One that may taste similar on the taste curve (full flavor sweetness on the initial palette, followed up sour aftertaste from the aspartame sweetener).

On a pure business and marketing standpoint, it seems as if the launch of the second Dr Pepper 10 commercial came at the best time possible.  Not only because it seems to be a blocker/flanker-type to remind people that Dr Pepper’s low calorie offering is better than Pepsi Next, but also from an expansion and continuity perspective. While they may not reach the same levels of awareness and trials as their first commercial, the product is now available nationally and can translate sales in more U.S. markets (larger market size may equal lower awareness levels, but generate more sales dollars because of the sheer size).  For continuity, it also halos off their first commercial with the same shocking tagline of “It’s Not For Women”, so there will be some viewers that are reminded it is a male-specific soft drink like the first one.

One of the key sales barriers may be that the  grocery shopper of the household is still the mom or wife, not the men that the product is targeting.  It may ultimately serve a purpose similar to the H&M David Beckham 2012 SuperBowl commercial, which targets women to buy the undergarments for their men.  For the most part, the men might now take part in putting the product on the weekly grocery list, or are moved to purchase the product themselves when they make the rare supermarket trip (although not that rare anymore according to Ad Age – article link here).

So why hasn’t Canada received the Dr Pepper 10 yet?  The Canadian market still only has Pepsi Max and Coke Zero competing in the zero-low calorie soda space.  One would suggest that given the healthier trends penetrating the Canadian market and our affinity toward lower calorie alternatives, that Dr Pepper should launch Dr Pepper 10 in Canada.  Alas, the situation is not that simple because Dr Pepper does not have it’s own distribution network here in Canada.  As per their distribution agreement with Coca-Cola and Pepsi, Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s various liquid refreshments come off of both manufacturer’s delivery trucks in Canada.  That said, Dr Pepper 10 may have a good chance to make it on the delivery trucks once the distribution contracts are up for renegotiation, or they find a tertiary distribution network if the contracts permit that.

Until then, Canadians looking to try Dr Pepper 10 will likely have to look toward grocery stores that bring their product in from south of the border, or make the trip down south themselves to find the product.

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