Byronic Max-plosion Battle Axe Skull Punch! (With Only One Calorie)

February 24, 2012


“Uncle Byronic?”

Yes, adorable little child?

How do they know which calories are manly?

“You know those ads for Dr. Pepper 10 that equate drinking diet Dr. Pepper to guns and being a Viking and smashing things with your bare hands and being in a rodeo and stuff?”


“Those are awful.  They make me want to burn things.  How can those exist?”

Oh, well, that’s a very interesting story.  Gather ‘round, children!  It’s story time.  This is the story of The Diet Cola Vendors and The Impregnable Male Market Demographic!


Once upon a time, many years ago, the first diet cola came out.  And there was much rejoicing.  But then marketers saw that men weren’t buying diet soda and they were sad.  Poor marketers.  Sad, sad, sad.  For, even though fortunes were being made, the advertisers and kindly cola makers were frustrated that half the population was refusing to buy their product for no other reason than the fact that they didn’t want it.  Stubborn men.  Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn.

Ooh, manly. Manly, manly, manly. And very 90's. 90's, 90's, 90's.

Some years passed and men began, more and more, to believe that their bodies were inferior if they didn’t have six-pack abs.  Women said, “Welcome to our world.” Welcome, welcome, welcome.  The marketers were happy!  Men were feeling inferior about their bodies, and the cola makers thought they finally had their chance!  They just had to convince men it was okay.  So they repackaged the cola.  They called it Pepsi One, and made ads with jets and explosions and Cuba Gooding jr. and guys in Reservoir Dogs suits walking in slow motion.  They thought maybe they could sneak the diet cola to the men, like the Trojan horse! Do you know the story of the Trojan horse, boys and girls?  No?  Seriously?  Well, whatever.

The men bought Pepsi One a little bit, but not very much. You see, even though men are very dumb, they still didn’t want to drink diet Pepsi, and they definitely didn’t want to hang out with Cuba Gooding jr.  And Pepsi was sad.  But then their friends over at Coca-Cola made Coke Zero, and put it in a black can.  It looked ever so manly.

And men started buying it!  It was working!  The Pepsi people made Pepsi Max, which sounded even manlier, and men bought it more and more!  The cola people realized they just needed to give the colas ever more absurdly masculine packaging and men would think that they wanted this product that they’d never wanted before!  So they used lots of words like “X-Treme” and “Intense” and “Skull” and such.  Soon, men even believed that Mountain Dew would make them good at outdoor athletics.

And the brave little commercial said, "I think I can sell! I think I can sell!"

And, yes, most of  the cola people were happy. But not all of them.  You see, the people over at Dr. Pepper wanted to sell diet pop to men, too.  Men had come around to believing that they wanted to drink diet soda, but they were uncomfortable with the word “diet,” because it sounded girly.  And the people over at Dr. Pepper were sad because their diet soda was still called “Diet,” and also some people were still put off by how people say that Dr. Pepper is carbonated prune juice.  Prunes, prunes, prunes.  Poor Dr. Pepper.

What could they do? Well, they got the smartest advertisers from across the land together.  And the advertisers thought and they thought and they thought.  And finally, the bravest one of all said, “We’ll do what men have always done!  We’ll over-compensate!”  And then, like the heroes over at the Axe Body Spray company, they tried to underestimate men’s intelligence.  They decided to rename their diet drink “Dr. Pepper 10” and make comically stupid ads about how intensely, ruggedly masculine their pop is.  They’d make ads that actually suggest that women can’t drink the cola, like it’s a clubhouse or something.

“And did it work? Did the Cola marketers defeat the bad men?”

It’s too soon to say, little girl.  It’s too soon to say.  They’ll only succeed if men are dumb enough to believe that drinking a diet sody-pop will make them manly and tough and rugged.


, , , , ,

About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

View all posts by The Byronic Man


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

43 Comments on “Byronic Max-plosion Battle Axe Skull Punch! (With Only One Calorie)”

  1. Casey Marriott Says:

    Haha. If you drink enough diet soda, I’m sure it’ll make you want to punch stuff and run around in circles. Or throw up.

    Otherwise, you might fall dead with a brain tumour. Wasn’t there that scare about diet soda = brain tumours a while back?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Brain tumor, cancer… something deadly. Something to do with the sugar substitute. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to get sodas or desserts made with real sugar in the US, it’s all high fructose corn syrup.


  2. valentinelogar Says:

    That was the best! As I sit drinking my manly coffee this morning thinking to myself, most men would not be able to sit with me over my thick and wondrous real, unflavored, unsugared, black as night coffee.



  3. Life in the Boomer Lane Says:

    I am so laughing. Laughing, laughing, laughing.


  4. A Broad at Home Says:

    This is so great. I wonder if I’ll hear a guy asking for “Mountain Dew Skull Punch” sometime soon. Also, is the tea industry capitalizing on this? Seems like they too need a little macho-boost.


  5. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    Ahhhahahahahhaha…wait, ok, I’m done laughing….
    In defense of Pepsi, “Pepsi Max” is actualy really good. Is Dr Pepper 10 real ? We dont have it (Diet Dr Pepper Cherry Vanilla is addicting by the way). I think men like to buy things with numbers – look at car names. Numbers with odd & otherwise useless letters (unless youre playing scrabble) like the “Z 28″…


  6. lexy3587 Says:

    *Sad face*, I can’t drink the Dr Pepper 10, for I am only woman. Wowie, it is, like, super manly. It probably tastes of beer and chewing tobacco, with just a hint of eau-de-‘i kill things in a manly way while in the woods and wearing camo’, and the smoky after-taste of barbequeing, because barbequeing is the only manly form of cookery.
    great post 🙂


  7. susielindau Says:

    Tell me another fun story Uncle Byronic Man! Hahaha!
    I had always thought that men were sucked into the diet craze thing too. Guess not! Maybe if they start making commercials with hot models running their fingers over those tight abs their sales might turn around….Not that I want to see that! 🙂


  8. PCC Advantage Says:

    Well, I was going to try Dr Pepper 10, but I’m afraid it might make me grow chest hair. Also, drinking regular Dr Pepper already makes me want to burn stuff, so what would happen if I drank a more manly version with few calories?

    I’m afraid.


  9. sj Says:

    And here I always thought that men didn’t drink diet things because they taste gross and give you diarrhea!


  10. Tori Nelson Says:

    I tried Dr. Pepper 10 and grew a beard 😦


  11. BrainRants Says:

    I see what has kept me from reaching the pinnacle of manhood now. I’m off to buy some soda…


  12. tomwisk Says:

    Don’t drink diet colas. There’s too many ingredients and there’s no sugar rush. Told the doctor about it (bad idea) and she suggested trying organic cranberry juice as a healthy alternative. I was awful. went back to Coke and Pepsi, in moderation. The Dr Pepper commercials were entertaining but a little too over the top for my taste.


  13. Audrey Says:

    Oooooooh… Aspartame, YUM!


  14. thesinglecell Says:

    The first time I saw the Dr. Pepper Ten commercial, and it yelled furiously at me that IT’S NOT FOR WOMEN!, I actually got mad. Like… mad. Because you know what? I don’t want your stupid ten-calorie drink that has ten calories on purpose so that it’s not exactly the same as any diet soda but yet doesn’t have 200 calories. I don’t want it… but women are the ones who do the grocery shopping and the only way that’s not true is if you’re a single guy in which case you are STILL not going to buy Dr. Pepper Ten. So stop yelling at me, stupid vikings!

    I hate vikings. There, I said it. Call me racist, call me xenophobic, I don’t care.


  15. cristycarringtonlewis Says:

    Hilarious. I think soda just makes men gassy, but there’s something to be said for a man who farts and belches. It’s extremely manly.


  16. gojulesgo Says:

    I actually think that Dr. Pepper can looks like a TrimSpa [diet pill] bottle. Manly!

    Better go. Peppermeister’s in the kitchen and I smell smoke.


  17. Curly Carly Says:

    Great post. Those commercials irk me. I’ve been wondering if men have been falling for Dr. Pepper’s sneaky tricks.


Leave a Reply to valentinelogar Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: