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: “I think Dove does the best job of appealing to people my age. Their ads encourage women to love themselves and to build each other up.” –Female, 28, PA

Here’s a weird, but potentially important, app to know: teens are reportedly flocking to YouNow, a live-streaming platform where they hang out with each other, chat, create music, or sleep. (Yes, sleep—there’s even a popular #sleepsquad hashtag that trends at night.) While Meerkat and Periscope have adults’ attention, 70% of YouNow users are under 24-years-old. These young consumers can purchase points on the app they use to tip other users, or to keep their messages at the top of the comment section in a feed. Live-streaming channels on YouNow include #musicians, #dancing, #girls, and #truthordare—and the app says they invest a lot into keeping it a safe space for the teens who love it. (BuzzFeed)

Acura is targeting Millennials with a social media campaign that focuses on the emotion of music and driving. The brand tapped eight up-and-coming artists to create original electronic songs for their newest entry-luxury car. Each track represents one of the eight gears of the new sporty ILX sedan, and as listeners move through the playlist, the music increases in velocity. For Millennials, luxury is no longer strictly defined by whistles and bells, and is shifting to center around authenticity and experience, so highlighting the emotional elements of their product could be a move in the right direction for the brand. The songs are posted on Acura’s Tumblr, where they have reportedly been downloaded seven million times so far. (Ad Age)

Millennials are known for being more progressive and open-minded than previous generations, but what exactly do they think is moral and immoral? A new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute tested their views on various sexual behaviors and found that 42% of 18-34-year-olds believe homosexuality is morally acceptable, which is more than those who believe casual sex is morally acceptable (37%), or sex between teenagers is acceptable (24%). The research says that 38% of this age group believes sex between two adults of the same gender is morally wrong, though we should note that Ypulse’s survey on Millennials’ LGBT views found them to be far more open. (Washington Post)

Millennials love a good deal, and 55% of 18-34-years-olds say they download coupons from coupon websites, compared to 38% of 35-54-year-olds and 21% of those over 54. The digital discount trend is reshaping how online retailers are building their business models. Jet.com, a startup putting itself up against Amazon, offers consumers a small membership fee to receive access to savings. It’s being predicted that while e-commerce becomes the place for discounts, retail locations will become cheaper distribution hubs with well-trained employees shaping stores into “knowledge centers.” (Inc.)

A new wave of digitally savvy models is taking social media and advertising by storm. “The Instagirls,” a title coined by Vogue, are Millennial models like Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, and Karlie Kloss who have been catapulted to fame thanks to their massive social media klout. While models used to have an air of mystery and exclusivity, the trend of being open, candid, and accessible has earned them millions of followers who want to see relatable celebrities. Brands have taken notice, and these young models are achieving both high fashion and commercial success, “a rarity since the supermodel era of the '90s.” (Adweek)

Did you know 73% of Millennials over 18-years-old have shopped at online stores like Amazon or eBay in the past month? This week's Ypulse topline report breaks down stats about where this generation shops and how they approach religion and spirituality. Twice a month, our topline report synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points from our most recent survey of Millennials for our Gold subscribers, giving them relevant statistics streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

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