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: “A ‘foodie’ to me is someone who takes pictures of every meal and follows multiple food blogs and pins a lot of food pictures on Pinterest.” –Female, 17, TX

ABC Family wants to be there for young women 14-29-years-old as they “navigate the next step” in their lives. To do so, they’re doubling their original programming with both scripted and reality series in the coming years, and stepping away from “trash-talking, train-wreck reality TV shows” to focus on more aspirational content. To keep up with their socially engaged audience, who spends an average of three hours a day on mobile, they’re launching a revamped Watch ABC Family app this summer. (Adweek)

Online voters could put a transgender Millennial man on the cover of Men’s Health. The magazine’s “Ultimate Guy Search” looks for men that embody their ideals of health and wellness, and thanks to social media and a strong LGBTQ community, 27-year-old trans male Aydian Dowling is the competition frontrunner by a landslide. There are both judges and a “reader’s choice” component to deciding the winner. A 2014 Ypulse monthly survey found that 87% of Dowling’s generation believe that LGBT individuals should be able to live their lives without discrimination and judgment. (The Daily Beast)

Michael Kors seems to have captured the hearts of teen girls: 39% of average-income girls choose Kors as their preferred handbag, up from 7% in 2012, while previously beloved Coach fell from 46% to 17% in that same amount of time. Teen shoppers are a powerful and influential bunch, and they’ve brought Kors “to new highs.” However, when brands become ubiquitous, as Coach did and some think Kors could become soon, sales can slow, making room for “hard-charging upstarts” like Tory Burch and Kate Spade. (Bloomberg)

For some time now YouTubers have been garnering just as much popularity as Hollywood celebrities, and it’s beginning to pay off, big time. According to Outrigger Media, CharlisCraftyKitchen, the largest food and cooking YouTube channel, is bringing in an estimated $127,000 a month. We should mention that CharlisCraftyKitchen stars 8-year-old baker Charli and her 5-year-old sister, Ashlee. Their amateur videos are among the successful channels that are providing marketers with a “tidy revenue stream” as they continue to garner millions of views. (AdAgeBusiness Insider)

Disney is tapping into the next generation’s interest in STEM to promote their upcoming movie Tomorrowland. The Create Tomorrowland – XPRIZE Challenge is asking kids and teens to envision themselves in the future and share what inventions they think would be impactful. Starting next week, creative thinkers between the ages of eight and 17-years-old can submit videos, images, or stories about their imagined invention or innovation and the influence it could have. Six winners will receive prizes to help move their ideas forward in real life, like a mentorship with a leader in their area of interest and a 3D Printer. (XPRIZE Challenge)

If you haven’t already noticed, Millennials care about their food. 47% consider themselves “foodies,” and 89% say that they’re open to trying new foods. How do we know? It’s not telepathy. Every other week, we reach out to our Millennial panel of over 60,000, asking 1,000 13-32-year-olds about current events, seasonal trends, changing attitudes, and new norms. The results of these monthly survey results are delivered to our Gold subscribers, and can be downloaded from our site. (Ypulse)

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