Imperfect Ten

Maybe you have a life. Maybe you don’t want to waste ten minutes reading this speculative blog post about a topic that makes no difference in the world. Maybe your time is more valuable than mine because you are busy doing something worthwhile like inventing the world’s second working flux capacitor. Since I value all of my readers, I will cut to the chase for those of you who don’t want all the reasons leading up to my conclusion. Here’s the conclusion: Dr Pepper Ten won’t last. Oh, and when you get that flux capacitor hooked up to Mr. Fusion correctly, come back and read the rest, because you’ll obviously have all the time in the world.

Dr Pepper Ten has a lot going for it:

The Commercials. Have you seen them? They really appeal to the male audience they are going after. It doesn’t matter what’s happening, if I see that commercial while I’m flipping channels I’m going to stop cruising and watch. I love it that they are emphasizing the “ten manly calories” and throwing in a bunch of cliché guy humor. What makes me like this aggressive marketing tactic even more is that the National Organization for Women is opposed to it.

The Taste. Dr Pepper Ten actually tastes good. Let’s face it, you either like diet drinks or you like their sugar-laden older brothers. Very few people, in my experience, really like both. I do not enjoy diet drinks. At least I didn’t until acesulfame potassium started being used as a sweetener of soft drinks. Known to its fans and closest friends as “Ace K”, this artificial sweetener has gained considerable market share in drinks like Coke Zero, Pepsi Max, and Pepsi One. It is combined with aspartame in Dr Pepper Ten and it is tolerable even to those of us who prefer real sugar and obesity to that weird aftertaste of most diet colas sweetened only with aspartame.

The Trust Factor. Diet Dr Pepper has a good reputation. Even those with a propensity for high octane colas can appreciate that Diet Dr Pepper tastes less diet than the others. Maybe it’s because the artificial sweetener is outnumbered by 22 other flavors. I tried Dr Pepper Ten because I figured that if Diet Dr Pepper is tolerable, then this new “just for men” version has to be even better. It definitely is.

All of these positives make it really sad that Dr Pepper Ten will go the way of the dodo sooner rather than later. All you need to do is look at the can to realize this.

It still looks diet. The gray is too light so it still looks feminine.

Two diet colas marketed primarily to men have successfully become mainstays—Coke Zero and Pepsi Max. Coke Zero is even offered in Chik-Fil-A and Wendy’s fountains right alongside Coca-cola and Diet Coke. Do they look diet? Do they look feminine?


I believe they are popular due to simple psychology- Men don’t think it’s manly to drink diet soda. In order to successfully market a diet drink to a man it should be missing the word diet and anything that makes it look like a diet drink. Dr Pepper Ten, you got it half right, but five out of ten just won’t cut it.


About Jeff Postlewaite

high school principal since '07, father since '04, teacher since '03, husband since '03, sound tech since '96, UVA fan since '92, gadget junkie since '89, Christian since '88, Giants fan since '84, golfer since '83, brother since '83, human since '81

Posted on February 2, 2012, in Food and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I agree about the gray. If you’re going to have a gray can, at least make it look more like steel. Have some rivets showing or something.

    I contend that the Yorkie bar branding is better than Dr. Pepper Ten’s.

  2. Rivets! Yes! That’s exactly what the can needs. Add some razor wire and this will stick around a while.

  1. Pingback: 30 Days of Thanks #9- I am NOT Attending the Ladies’ Retreat « 141 plus

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