James Trebilcock has stood by this campaign since its launch on October 10th. He even has issued statements when confronted about the campaign’s sexist message, claiming that women shouldn’t be offended – after all, during the testing stage where the marketing was tested in six different markets throughout the country, the women weren’t offended:
“Women get the joke…’Is this really for men or really for women?’ is a way to start the conversation that can spread and get people engaged in the product.” (source)
But after a simple google search, it is easy to see that a lot of people (not just women) are offended and outraged by this campaign. Most of the search results either direct towards blogs or news websites expressing their disapproval of this ad. Surely someone at the Dr. Pepper corporation has taken the time to google their new product and have seen the public’s reaction, and yet no further statements have been issued and the campaign continues to run. Maybe corporate believes this is just the viewpoint of the minority and that while they continue to voice their discontent in the campaign, Dr. Pepper continues to flourish in sales and popularity.
YouGov’s BrandIndex has reported that the campaign, intended to increase popularity and usage among males 18+, has backfired and has actually created increased feedback among both men and women.
According to the YouGov’s BrandIndex website:
“Dr. Pepper was measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score, which asks respondents: “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”
A score can range from 100 to -100 and is compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.
For men, Dr. Pepper’s buzz score went from 21. 5 on the day the campaign broke to 16.4, clearly losing a bit of altitude for the intended gender.
However, for women in the same period, the score started at a higher point – 32.9 – and has now sunk to 18.4, losing nearly half its score.”
So now it is very clear that not only are both men and women offended by this campaign but this is also the popular opinion among all consumers. Since the campaign launched, Dr. Pepper popularity has dropped among both genders – so then why is this campaign still running?!