How to Market to Millennial Males: A Dr. Pepper Ten Case Study

Dr. Pepper Ten 1In 2011, Dr. Pepper decided to launch their new diet soda in a big, and very specific, way. In an attempt to capture the young male market, the ten-calorie drink, Dr. Pepper Ten, was launched as a light beverage for guys only. “It’s not for women” was chosen as the slogan of the campaign, and commercial spots featuring aggressive, action-movie hero-like men racing through the jungle swigging cans of the soda were broadcast.

Reactions to the first commercial for the diet soda “not for women” were not positive. At all. The reliance on a hyper-macho depiction of men, shooting lasers at each other and deriding all things girly, was of course condemned as sexist; but it also did not mesh with the kind of masculinity that Gen Y men have cultivated for themselves. The message did not ring true to a group accustomed to blending traditionally masculine concepts with their own current conventions (if not rejecting typical macho expectations completely).

This was not a subtle depiction of what modern men should be. Any possibility it could be interpreted as facetious was undone by its bossy, directive tone. Parallel to the overall message that Dr. Pepper Ten is not for women were prescriptive orders on how to be a man. The campaign included an app that dispensed “man’ments:” orders like, “Thou Shalt Not Pucker Up. Kissy faces are never manly,” and the Facebook page for the soda allowed visitors play a game shooting at feminine items like lipstick and heels.

Some wondered if the machismo-reliant, no-girls-allowed approach would alienate women too much for Dr. Pepper Ten to be a success. But the real question should have been whether the portrayal of masculinity was the right tactic to take to capture the demographic the brand was clearly so desperate to attract: the Millennial male…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Most already-made Halloween costumes only have sexy options. Sexy Cat, Sexy Pirate. It gets old, and I don't like dressing up that way.” –Female, 18, CA

Is the bridal shower dead? Not quite, but many brides today (Millennials) have no interest in the traditional trappings of the event, and increasingly are opting to skip it altogether. Some don’t want to burden their friends with more costs, and others find that the bachelorette party is more than sufficient for female bonding. But one other major reason: they just don’t need them anymore. There's been close to a 900% rise in cohabitation before marriage over the last 50 years, which means couples have all the toasters and sheets they need. (Racked)

Math students have a new magic-like tool to solve problems. PhotoMath is an app that solves simple math equations, and “provides step-by-step instructions explaining how it got the answer.” Users simply take a picture of the equation, and text recognition technology can solve anything from fractions to linear equations. Of course, concern that the app will be used more for cheating than learning is a pretty big concern. (Mashable)

What is college life like for Millennials? One way to find out is to look at their own pictures documenting it all. The “Instagram generation” is on campus: over 37% of college age adults are on the app, and they’re snapping shots of their experiences from the classroom to the dorm room. This self-recorded gallery is a window into the lives of today’s students, their selfies, dance parties, and makeshift indoor slip-and-slides. (NYMag)

When FXX aired a marathon of The Simpsons this September, they shattered ratings records with the 18-49-year-old audience. Now the channel has released Simpsons World, a streaming app dedicated to the show, which includes lots of features beyond access to the entire Simpsons series. Users can look at the popularity of each episode, watch “clips that rock,” and a “rarities” section of video that even die-hard fans might not have seen. (Slate)

Five Below has become the fastest-growing teen retailer in the U.S. by jumping quickly onto kid and teen trends. The store was founded with the idea that kids could afford everything offered with their allowance money, and unlike other dollar stores Five Below skips the “necessities,” instead focusing on the fun things that kids would want. Though teens are fickle customers, and the store’s success depends on finding the new items that resonate with them, so far they have managed to steadily grow during a difficult time with their tactics—and with no online presence to speak of. (BuzzFeed)

Did you know searching Ypulse.com surfaces all related data that we have on the topic you need, pulled from our ongoing bi-weekly surveys of Millennials 14-32-years-old? Gold subscribers can click on “show all data” to explore in-depth tables that breaks down statistics by gender, race, ethnicity, education, and location. It’s instant, current data about the Millennials generation, at your fingertips. (Ypulse)

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