An Open Letter to James R. Trebilcock

Dear James R. Trebilcock,

By now, I’m sure you’re well aware that your Dr. Pepper 10 campaign has failed. While trying to market a diet soda to men, you have not only completely isolated women completely from the product, but you have also made a bold statement about how men should be. While being overtly sexist and excluding women in your so-called “tongue-in-cheek” tagline, you are also reinforcing gender stereotypes throughout your campaign. According to your ad, all men should embody the “machismo” persona that appears in the commercial. You also offer a men-only Facebook page, where users can “shoot all the girly things” and unite over activities that “prove” masculinity. You even incorporate such quality sayings like “This shooting gallery is no place for a woman like you” and “What, are you a woman?” to users who don’t score as high in the shooting game you offer.

Don’t you understand the bigger picture of your campaign? Not only are you alluding that ALL women behave in the same way in that they only watch romantic comedies and “lady drinks” and can’t handle the “bold” taste of the new Dr. Pepper 10, but you are also telling the American public what constitutes being a man. What happens to those who are not like the “manly-man” that you portray in your campaign? Are they not allowed to drink this uber-masculine drink as well?

With all the public outrage this campaign has faced since its launch, along with the hard evidence that both men and women have generated negative feedback about the company after the campaign launched, don’t you think it’s time to end it? Mr. Trebilcock, I strongly urge you to read this blog and critically contemplate the issues I have raised. Advertising does not have to resort to sexism in order to sell its product. Not only that, but it proves to have such a strong influence on the public and their views towards gender stereotypes. Therefore, I ask you to end your campaign, remove the ads from the media, and apologize for promoting a sexist message.


Casey McAdams


3 thoughts on “An Open Letter to James R. Trebilcock

  1. That is EXACTLY how I felt when watching these spots. The second I saw the first commercial, I started doing research about this marketing campaign. It’s incredibly sexist and in my opinion, very unoriginal (very “Old Spice Man-esque”). I first analyzed it as an advertising student and realized how specific their target audience is. They don’t generalize any of their message or how they deliver it. Secondly, I analyzed it as a women…yes. I hated it.

  2. AMEN! Right after this campaign came out a group of PR/A students and I were chatting about different campaigns we saw and we absolutely RIPPED this campaign up one side and down the other. I agree with Gen that it is very “Old Spice Man-esque” – Dairy Queen spoofed it too much and Dr. Pepper just dragged it waaay over the line. Old Spice celebrated women and promoted the idea of making women feel special, because their target audience is women. This strategy was a huge flop and maybe Dr. Pepper will learn, apologize and will be the lovable drink it once was… maybe.

  3. I agree with you on all counts. I can see why they would want to ride on the coattails of the old spice campaign, it was a huge success. However, Dr. peppers execution was lame and unimaginative. They catered to a stereotypical male who doesn’t really exist anymore and for some reason berated women.

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