Dear Dr. Pepper, VW and other small-minded advertisers:
Look. I realize the economy’s bad. Spending is down. You’ve got to be inventive to boost sales. But courting men at the expense of your female consumers isn’t just stupid, it’s bad business.
I’m not sure how it escaped your notice, but according to sources like Girlpower Marketing, women now control 85 percent of the purchasing decisions in the United States. That adds up to more than $7 trillion in spending. That’s more than the GDP of Japan.
What’s more, more than 30 percent of us now out-earn our husbands. I know I do.
So hyper-macho campaigns designed to rally men around the penis pole? Are just guaranteed to piss off a lot of your best customers.
Dr. Pepper, I think maybe you were just trying to be funny. I think maybe you thought you could one-up the Old Spice guy. But this?
Is just stupid. Every time I see it, I want to throw things at the TV screen. And not only will I never allow Dr. Pepper 10 in my house, I won’t even drink the regular stuff when I’m out at a restaurant anymore.
And I’m not the only one. I’ve talked to lots of women who feel exactly the same way (a few of whom urged me to write this rant).
And as for you, VW? Well, I’m just straight-up disappointed in you. You’re usually so smart. So egalitarian. Your commercials make me smile—and, more often than not, wish I had written them.
So when I read about your new New Beetle campaign—the one with the print ad featuring the “It’s A Boy” headline, I was confused. The last New Beetle was one of the most beloved cars of my generation. I know I loved mine to death—even while it was costing me thousands of dollars in repairs.
Yeah, it was a “girl car.” But you know what? There are more women than men in this country. And, again according to Girlpower Marketing (as well as other sources), we make almost 70 percent of the car purchasing decisions.
So why the heck are you trying to make it a man’s car? You had a home run the last time around. I highly doubt those testosterone-addled men in their mid-30s that you’re after will ever be the brand evangelists that we women we were.
I hope that you both come to understand the ridiculousness of your current brand position in short order. And that you get back to work creating campaigns that we can all love.
Because the era of Mad Men? Is gone for good. Get with the program, people.
One Disappointed Former Customer