Last month, Dr Pepper made quite a controversial post on their Facebook page. Representing the theory of evolution, the drinks company attributed the evolution of man from ape to the discovery of a can of Dr Pepper.
Now, this probably seems quite mundane to most of Dr Pepper's 13 million plus Facebook followers but it wasn't necessarily well received by all of them and caused quite a frenzy.
The obvious evolutionary connotations upset quite a few Dr Pepper drinkers who are big Creationists, who commented that the drink would no longer be welcome in their household and that they demanded an apology. Of course, this drew even more furious comments from anti-creationist Dr Pepper drinkers and the debate fuelled on.
Now, I have my opinions on the origin of life and am very aware of the position of today's society on that, especially in the West, but that's not the point. Dr Pepper's marketing team have quite cleverly used such a touchy topic such as the evolution/creationism debate to promote their brand through the fast moving world of social media. To date the post has over 33,000 likes, over 7,000 comments and over 4,000 shares all this makes for lots of lovely, free marketing collateral for the brand.
Though some may now see Dr Pepper in a worse light, so many have been talking about the brand in the aftermath of the post, though it was brave and a big risk, it's a mission success.