Facebok’s reaction to a new Dr. Pepper ad demonstrates the level of hyper-sensitivity brands need to consider when creating a campaign. The post, which credits the soft drink as a pivotal influence in the evolution of man’s taste, has angered orthodox Christians with its Darwinian model of evolution (see above picture.) It has attracted comments such as, “My ancestors were created in the Garden of Eden. I ain’t no freaking chimp. No more Dr. Pepper for my household. God Bless y’all,” which have ignited a classic religion versus science debate about the origins of man.
Other Facebookers have defended the brand, calling out their fellow consumers, “The day your faith gets shaken by a Dr. Pepper ad is the day you should probably start reconsidering your faith.”
Dr. Pepper continues the string of brand controversies that have spilled onto Facebook, a growing list that includes Chick-Fil-A, Oreo’s, and Papa John’s. These will only keep getting worse as people begin to accept Facebook as a platform for public debate. Marketers need to tread carefully and be prepared.