This week, Diet Pepsi confirmed what consumers have suspected for a while — the brand is for only half the population: women.
“It’s targeted at females who love home design,” Amy Spiridakis, Diet Pepsi’s director of marketing, said of the beverage’s new can. In a recent interview with Adweek, Spiridakis publicly pigeonholed the Diet Pepsi brand into the female market.
Generally, big soda brands are targeted at everyone. The fact that Diet Pepsi is now targeting just one demographic in the market — a big one, albeit — is something of a climbdown.
It’s just the latest in the long story of the brand’s decline. Sales have been stuttering and falling since 2000, with major drops taking place just last year. It’s only the seventh most-drunk soda in the US. Marketing flops and a sheer lack of ad dollars are partially to blame.
Will the new “Love Every Sip” campaign, which outspokenly takes aim at women alone, resuscitate the brand?
As the makeover is only geared towards those missing a Y chromosome, it may hurt the brand’s chances with men, in much the same way that Sex And The City pigeonholed the Cosmopolitan as a girl’s drink.
Sofia Vergara, the sexy older homemaker from “Modern Family” is the brand’s most recent face. In 2011, Diet Pepsi launched a “skinny can” design for Fashion Week. The brand is all-women, all the time, in other words.
Regular Pepsi, by contrast, has a macho bent. The latest adrenaline-fueled viral ad for Pepsi features NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon.
It’s almost as if PepsiCo is trying to differentiate its brands along gender lines: his and hers.
There is money to be made doing that: Luna Bars and Dove chocolate have long prospered from female-only dollars.