Dr Pepper’s “It’s not for women!” ad campaign for its new line of low-calorie soda, Dr Pepper 10, is a particularly offensive piece of goonery. It makes Miller Lite’s moronic “Man up!” commercials look like nothing short of a brave stance for equality. Some noted experts — me and one guy who retweeted me — have even declared that everyone at Dr Pepper responsible for the campaign should be “shot out of a cannon into a tub of slime.” Harsh, perhaps, but certainly not unreasonable given the circumstances.
However, this weekend there was a silver lining to their meatheaded ad push. During halftime of the SEC Championship, they sponsored a competition where two contestants threw footballs into giant soda cans, with the winner receiving a $100,000 college scholarship. The winner was University of Nevada-Reno freshman Ivon Padilla-Rodriguez, and she proceeded to cry and give a heartwarming speech that included the line “Dr Pepper is seriously the best thing that ever happened to me.” (As pointed out by some guy named Matt at SB Nation, she and her family have been having money problems, so the scholarship was especially helpful.) After she made that somewhat poorly-worded claim in a moment of excitement, some people rushed to crack jokes at her expense. I will have none of it. The whole thing is adorable and I wish her nothing but the best. I am a total sap for these kinds of things.
So, look: Dr Pepper is still a company run by misogynistic creeps, but they lucked into some good public relations here. And I implore them to take the ball and run with it in a more positive direction. I think it was either the famous Greek philosopher Plato or Roc-A-Fella records artist Beanie Sigel who said, “Son, you gotta get your soul clean. Before they blow them horns like Coltrane.”