Dr Pepper “Progress of Man” Parody Becomes Silly Facebook Controversy

There's another Dr Pepper boycott in the works, and this one has nothing to do with real cane sugar. 
Wed September 19, 2012 9:42 pm
Facebook | Dr Pepper

If man was literally created in God’s image, He gave us a sense of humor, right? Or did we evolve that way? 

Judging from the response to a new one-off ad that Dr Pepper put up on its Facebook page, a parody of the 1965 illustration “Progress of Man,” it looks like we still need to “teach the controversy.” As Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon wrote:

On Thursday, Dr. [sic] Pepper posted a new ad on Facebook explaining the “evolution of flavor” with a riff on the famous evolution of man illustration that shows how homo got sapien. The ad traces the path from a knuckle dragger through the “Pepper discovery” to the final silhouette of a happy, naked Dr. [sic] Pepper drinker…

Among the comments (also  via David Mendez of Tucson Weekly):

“I ain’t no freakin’ chimp.”

“this photo is in very poor taste and certainly not something I want to identify with!!!”

“I didn’t come from no ape the great creator made me GOD!!!!!!!” 

 “I’m a full time pastor. I love Dr. [sic] Pepper. I have both a sense of humor and the ability to not blow every little thing out of proportion. If this offends you, I invite you to turn off you computer, grow up, and stop giving Christians a bad name. Thanks in advance.”

“Just lost my business! As an avid drinker of Dr. [sic] Pepper, I can assuredly say that I would never drink Dr. [sic] Pepper ever again. If they think their soda’s are good enough to make people forget their faith, they are simply fooling themselves.”

“The soft drink company seems to have a great deal more fans of this ad than detractors, though,” wrote Mendez. “A number of Facebook users came out in force to challenge what people were writing, while others decided to just laugh at it.”

To Jonathan Salem Baskin of Ad Age, it was just bad marketing, “goofy content without any intention of selling anything to anybody in particular,” he  wrote

With nothing to say beyond a thin joke, such content opens the door for engagement on things other than soda pop, like science in this case … or politics, or history or any other topic about which the brand really doesn’t want to have a discussion.

“It goes to show how protests can spread like wildfire in social media, where outrage—and counteroutrage—are just a click away,” wrote Tim Nudd of Adweek, who also  called the ad “a dumb

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