08.13.1312:40 PM ET

Companies Want More ‘Masculine’ Marketing

"Diet's kinda girly."

A not-quite-so-new phenomenon described as “gender contamination”—the idea that when women flock to a product, men flee—is now hitting the marketing industry with full force. According to Slate, “Part of the reason this approach works so well is that men, apparently, don't want to buy stuff strongly associated with women.” The reluctance to buy products marketed specifically toward women is most clearly exhibited in Dr. Pepper's recent ad for Dr. Pepper Ten, featuring the tagline: “the manliest low-calorie soda in the history of mankind.” As one Dr. Pepper executive said, “Diet's kinda girly.” Earlier in the year, Sergey Brin of Google gave a talk for TED that criticized smartphones for being “emasculating.” And in an earlier example, an ad for Verizon's Motorola Droid painted the iPhone as “a tiara wearing, digitally clueless beauty pageant queen, a precious porcelain figurine of a phone and a princess.”