For men only: Dr. Pepper's risky new launch

Posted: October 18, 2011 by
Linda Casey

The newest offering from Dr. Pepper is stirring up controversy. Dr. Pepper TEN is marketed as the "10 hardest-Working Calories in the Beverage Business. "The beverage company is taking a bold stance with its product positioning, with statements such as "Don’t get too excited, ladies; it’s for men only."


The Dr. Pepper TEN package is designed specifically for men who prefer the full-flavor experience of regular Dr Pepper but want a lower-calorie option without the diet imagery. Instead, Dr. Pepper uses what the company deems as distinctly masculine graphic elements, including

  • a gunmetal gray color scheme
  • industrial rivets
  • a bold new font

”Men told us that they wanted a low-calorie option with the full flavor of regular Dr Pepper – and that’s exactly what we’re delivering with Dr Pepper TEN," said Dave Fleming, director of marketing for Dr Pepper. “In our test markets, Dr Pepper TEN became a go-to drink for men, providing the full-flavor, low-calorie experience they have been looking for."

Six test markets got an early taste of Dr Pepper TEN in early 2011, complete with a full marketing campaign, including TV commercials, radio and out-of-home advertising and point-of-purchase displays – all featuring a “It’s Not for Women” message. The company says the bold message is tongue-in-cheek. We'll have to wait and see if consumers see it that way. 

The company does have reason to be upbeat about the marketing campaign, though. Results in the test markets far exceeded expectations, with Dr Pepper TEN representing nearly 6 percent of Dr Pepper sales throughout the test period in like packaging. The national launch of Dr Pepper TEN takes its men-only message even further. It's supported by an integrated marketing campaign,  including a Dr Pepper TEN Facebook application that only men can access.