Dr. Pepper really ticked off their fans. Not because they’re finally waking up to the fact that soda is bad for you, but because they used evolution in a Facebook ad campaign. As NPR reports, “…an ape moving from all-fours, to seeing a soda on a rock, to an upright man, enjoying a Pepper, is apparently red meat to some creationists who are loudly expressing outrage at the idea that humans evolved from soda-discovering apes.” We’ve seen companies use sex, violence, misogyny and, most recently, national tragedies to claim consumer attention, so forgive us when we say that this just seems silly.
For starters, it’s an advertisement, not a mission statement. The evolution reference is little more than a dumb joke–if the can of Dr. Pepper sitting on a rock didn’t tip you off. Yet people are enraged–and claiming that they’ll stop drinking the soda because of it. A few sample comments from their Facebook page:
“I only drink Dr. Pepper but i will no longer support them knowing that they are doing this type of advertising ….. just like all you people that dont support christians or dont believe in God. you people would be all upset and crying that they are pushing there [sic] beliefs on you. Well, They are pushing a belief system that is and should be offensive to all Christians that believe in Gods Creation.”
“This a lie and wrong ! you will loose [sic] me and a lot of customers like Coke when they came out with new Coke”
And some have even created a petition on riseupamericaparty.com, calling for all Christians to make an official complaint with the company, and boycott their products until they issue a retraction.
Is anyone confused by the mass distress over evolution in advertising, when so many are complacent when it comes to all the other offensive ads we see daily?
Women’s bodies are regularly distorted to create false pictures of beauty in the media. We can point to more than a few recent ads that use misogyny to sell products. And ironically, they’re often selling those products to women…and customers with Christian values. It baffles me that people who are so grounded in Christian or religious values are in arms over a soda cartoon, but eat up these other offenses regularly.
On the plus side, it’s great that people are giving companies feedback about their ad strategies. I just wish we’d stop to think this carefully about more of the ads we see every day…because as far as I’m concerned, evolution is a small time offense.
Photo: Dr. Pepper Facebook