Dr Pepper Ten Goes Classic with “Manliest Man”

Courtesy of adweek.com
Courtesy of adweek.com

It could just be me not having as much time to watch TV and commercials, but there has been much less headlines about Dr Pepper Ten recently, as Coke and Pepsi continue to advertise and command viewer’s attention.  That said, it made me curious to find out what the latest Dr Pepper Ten was, and whether they continued their trend of “Still Not For Women” theme.  From their latest commercial below, you’ll see that they’ve decided to bring back memories of the 1980s, by providing visual references to beer and cigarette commercials from that era.  Examples are not limited to the following: eating tree bark, “fishing” for Dr Pepper Ten, and canoeing with a bear.  After watching the full commercial below, we’ll take a few moments to understand the communication and also step back to understand why Dr Pepper Ten has not been dominating the air waves as much.

The commercial’s classic “faded” feel and over-the-top theatrics make the whole episode light-hearted and certainly catches your attention  Gone are the “It’s Not For Women” taglines and average Joe rugged male actors, replaced with another representation of the manliest man.  At the root of it all is the message that the soft drink has ten calories and it’s OK for men to drink a low calorie beverage.  So while the commercials vary from time to time, the messaging remains intact.  Dr Pepper Ten has just embraced more comedy and toned down the female alienation aspects.

Moving on to the less obvious question of why there has been less Dr Pepper Ten commercials of late, it’s best we take a quick look at their latest earnings release.  From the Nasdaq blogger’s opinion, overall Dr Pepper business appears to be trending down, while Dr Pepper Ten doesn’t appear to be performing extremely well either.  From this perspective, because the core and extended offerings are declining, logic would apply that reversing these declines would be centered on the core offering – Dr Pepper.  The Dr Pepper youtube channel would seem to indicate as much, since most of the recent uploads center around their “/1” campaign.

While performance declines are not limited to only the carbonated segment, fixing their core offering in this segment is paramount.  Overall beverage consumption trends are shifting toward healthier options, so holding on to their piece of the shrinking carbonated soda pie is important.  Therefore, it makes sense to focus Dr Pepper’s efforts and dollars on the main product, than on the extension offerings.

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