TMF: I’m a pepper; you’re a pepper…

Dear Dr. Pepper,

Back in the day you were my drink of choice. Your old slogan — Diet Dr. Pepper tastes more like real Dr. Pepper — was so true! In fact, I remember some really funny and entertaining ad campaigns, back then, too. Good times. Your diet soda has everything you want: It tastes good with no gross artificial sweetener after-taste. And it has a real kick of caffeine. I don’t know if it actually has more caffeine than other sodas, but it sure feels like it. And when I was a full-time reporter working crazy hours, a soda with kick and taste was like sweet nectar from heaven.

So what gives, Dr. Pepper? I thought we had something built to last!

Now there’s this new kid, Dr. Pepper 10, and with it an incredibly sexist and vaguely homophobic ad campaign to match. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the evidence:

Why Dr. Pepper? Why?!

The storyline is that marketing research revealed that men don’t want to be seen drinking out of a diet soda can. Because “diet” drinks are for girls. (That reminds me, I should tell my husband — and pretty much every straight guy I know — that their drinks make them look girly. Because if market research revealed that “fact,” it must be true. And, you know, if you’re a straight dude, you naturally fear looking girly.)

Tell the truth, Dr. Pepper, were you jealous of your pal Coke Zero and its success with the fellas? You shouldn’t worry too much about Coke Zero. It was banned in Venezuela and bombed in the UK. (And did you learn nothing from the failed Got PMS campaign from the Got Milk people?)

I thought you were classier than that, Dr. Pepper. I thought that we had something special. Now I see you’re just another product that’s one sexist ad campaign away from pissing me off. But more than that, I’m just disappointed. I expected more from you. I mean, can’t you see that this whole “guys don’t drink diet soda” thing is just a truly tired marketing failure? Can’t you see that everyone is pointing and laughing at you?

Well, just in case you can’t, I’m signing this petition so you can see just how many of us are pissed off.

Sincerely,

The Tired Feminist

Mid-week highlights and lowlights

It’s hot out there, and I don’t just mean the weather:

  • Have you been watching the week-long series on sexual violence airing on My News 3’s Healthline segment? It features Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence Executive Director Andrea Sundberg speaking on a variety of issues related to sexual violence. (Full disclosure: I am on the board of NCASV.)
  • Even if I wasn’t lactose intolerant, the new ad campaign for the California Milk Processor’s Board (those of the “Got Milk?” fame) gives me diarrhea. The “Everything I Do Is Wrong” campaign — targeted at men — is packaged as a pseudo-PSA to help me deal with women’s PMS. (The idea is that the calcium in milk may ease symptoms of PMS, which is not necessarily sound advice.) Sample text, “I’m sorry I listened to what you said and not what you meant.” The concept and execution are textbook sexism. See a photo and a good break-down at Ms. Blog. And you can sign the petition against the campaign here.
  • Speaking of overtly-sexist ideas trotted out in the media regarding heterosexual coupling: Jezebel busts Australian Today host Karl Stefanovic’s idea to create an incentive system for husbands. (e.g. doing the dishes earns you time out at the pub with the guys, etc.) So, that’s some major bullshit. And really, where do I even start? Infantilizing men. Operating under the assumption that domestic chores are the “natural” work of anyone with a vagina. … and so on.
  • If your outrage meter is off the charts after all that, here’s something that might make you feel better: A teen feminist calls Westboro Baptist Church to confront them (via Fbomb).
  • And circling back to nutrition for a sec, GOOD asks: Is it better to provide healthy food or eliminate junk food? A new study posits a surprising answer.
  • And speaking of consumption, this one might make you feel guilty about the lotion on your bathroom vanity. Racialicious breaks down the dirty little secret behind “fair trade” shea butter. (If we can’t trust the concept of fair trade, then are we just doomed to maintain our First World wealth on the backs of Third World women and children. Is there no way to untie ourselves from the yoke of oppression?)
  • Want some feel-good news? For the first time ever, active-duty military members will be marching in San Diego’s pride parade! It’s a great day when we can celebrate all our heroes!