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Oct 24

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Manliness in a can

Dr Pepper Ten is low-cal, but none dares call it “diet.”

Jim Hightower By Jim Hightower

If you worry that American corporations have lost the innovative, can-do edge necessary to compete in today’s global economy, you need to spend some time with Dr Pepper.

I don’t mean a shrink, but the soft-drink. It’s a brand that, let’s face it, has seemed a bit stodgy. But — Pow! — no more. Meet Dr Pepper Ten, a brand-new concoction that promises to deliver the impossible: a macho diet soda. How’s that for innovation?

dr-pepper-10-not-for-women

It seems that the honchos over at the Dr Pepper Snapple Group have done intensive market analysis and found that men think of diet drinks as…well, girly. So they flinch at buying them.

No sweat, said the corporate alchemists, we’ll make a manned-up soda that has only 10 calories, but still contains a manly dose of real sugar and other stuff. It’s low-cal, but none may dare call it “diet.”

Corporate officials won’t disclose what’s in the formula that supposedly will make men salivate for a can of Ten, but the key ingredient seems to be raw hucksterism. The pepped-up Dr Pepper is being launched with a massive, testosterone-infused ad campaign that bluntly proclaims: “It’s not for women.”

TV ads will run on all networks during college football games, and the promos will reek of machismo, showing men — real men — in a jungle battling snakes. Also, instead of the gentle bubbles on Dr Pepper’s regular diet can, the cans of Ten are gunmetal grey — with silver bullets. Pow!

In case ladies still don’t get the point that this is a manly man’s drink, they might go to Dr Pepper Ten’s Facebook page. There, they’ll find a virtual shooting gallery that invites members of the male species to fire virtual bullets at such feminine symbols as lipstick and high heels. Is this fun, or what?

Hey, China, you think you’re the new economic power on the globe, but we’ve now got Dr Pepper on steroids. Well, let’s see you top that.

Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

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