Dr Pepper rolled out its new low calorie drink "Dr Pepper Ten" Monday, stirring discussion about its macho ad campaign.
The new Dr Pepper Ten has 2 grams of sugar and 10 calories, compared to 40.5 grams of sugar and 150 calories of a standard Dr Pepper but with the same 23 flavors found in the standard drink. The drink is not the only diet soft drink targeted to men. Coke Zero and Pepsi Max are already on the market.
The buzz surrounding Dr Pepper Ten is around its macho ad campaign which states that the beverage is "not for women" and features TV commercials heavy on the machismo including spots showing muscular men in the jungle battling in a laser gun shootout. The campaign also includes a Facebook page only accessible by men.
"Dr Pepper Ten's ad campaign is the first to be so overt about courting men who want to drink a soda with fewer calories," noted the Associated Press.
Easing the sexist clash, executives at Dr Pepper said they are not worried that women will get offended by the campaign.
"Women get the joke," Jim Trebilcock, executive vice president of marketing for Dr Pepper told AP. "'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."
See TV Commercial below:
Consumption of sugary drinks increases the risks of being overweight and obese and studies have shown that even diet drinks are associated with weight gain.
According to figures from the beverage industry, soft drink makers produce a staggering 10.4 billion gallons of sugary soda pop each year. That's enough to serve every American a 12-ounce can every day, 365 days a year, according to the article "Sugary Drinks or Diet Drinks: What's the Best Choice?" published by the University of Harvard's School of Public Health.
The average can of sugar-sweetened soda or fruit punch provides about 150 calories, almost all of them from sugar, usually high-fructose corn syrup. That's the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of table sugar (sucrose). If you were to drink just one can of a sugar-sweetened soft drink every day, and not cut back on calories elsewhere, you could gain up to 15 pounds in a year, informs Harvard's School of Public Health.
Diet drinks have artificial sweeteners which deliver zero carbohydrates, fat and protein so they can't directly influence calorie intake or blood sugar. Over the short term, diet drinks cut calories and leads to weight loss but in the long term it may confuse the body's capability to regulate calories intake.
Artificial sweeteners uncouple sweetness and energy. Until recently, sweet taste meant sugar, and thus energy. The human brain responds to sweetness with signals to, at first, eat more and then with signals to slow down and stop eating. By providing a sweet taste without any calories, artificial sweeteners could confuse these intricate feedback loops that involve the brain, stomach, nerves, and hormones. If this happens, it could throw off the body's ability to accurately gauge how many calories are being taken in.
Some long-term studies show that regular consumption of artificially sweetened beverages reduces the intake of calories and promotes weight loss or maintenance. Others show no effect, while some show weight gain, according to Harvard's School of Public Health.
50 Percent of Americans Consume a Sugary Drink Daily
Half of people in the U.S. drink a sugary beverage a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Males between 12 to 19 years old drink the most, according to the CDC.
This year, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) along with the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association launched a nationwide campaign called "Life's Sweeter with Fewer Sugary Drinks" to cut average consumption of sugary drinks to roughly three cans per person a week by 2020.
Obesity and overweight is a major health problem in the United States with more than two-thirds of adults and one in three children in the United States either overweight or obese, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
Sugary drinks are the largest single source of calories in the American diet and account for half of all added sugars Americans consume.
Health care costs related to obesity total more than $150 billion annually, according to the CSPI.