If you’re in the mood to draw ire from people with excruciatingly rigid beliefs, the Internet is generally a good place to start. While you’re at it, might as well pick a particularly polarizing topic. Why not evolution?
Now, that probably wasn’t exactly how the conversation went down over at the marketing offices of Dr. Pepper, but a recent ad for the soft drink posted on Facebook — with the slogan “Evolution of Flavor” — sparked a healthy dose of controversy nonetheless. Based on the iconic evolution diagram “March of Progress,” the ad features an ape who, after drinking Dr. Pepper, turns into a man. The ad went up Thursday, and by Friday had garnered more than 26,000 “Likes” and over 4,000 comments.
This is, of course, still the Internet — so plenty of comments in question are loaded with snark from people who mainly appear to be provoking for the sake of provocation. Several commenters, however, expressed disapproval of Dr. Pepper — believing, apparently, that the ad showed support for the scientific theory of evolution — and vowing to boycott the product. “I ain’t no freaking chimp. No more Dr Pepper for my household. God Bless y’all,” one user wrote. Another chimed in with, “I have lost all respect for Dr Pepper and if Dr Pepper wants business from thousands of people they will need to apologize.”
As the debate roiled on, pro-evolution commenters expressed their support of the company, vowing to stand by Dr Pepper no matter what. One person, for example, promised he’d continue drinking the soda even “if they announced they pissed in the formula.”
No matter what you believe regarding evolution, creationism, Christianity, Dr. Pepper, unicorns, cyborgs, narwhals or anything else, the campaign was a huge if inadvertent win for the soft drink company. As one Facebook commenter points out, “DR Pepper scored with this one. It’s all over the internet now. The Creationists just made this ad famous. Sweet, sweet irony.”