Dr Pepper’s Evolution Joke on Facebook Riles Up Creationists

Clichéd image still has power to offend

So, this happened late last week: Dr Pepper posted a dumb joke on Facebook—a visual parody of the infamous 1965 "March of Progress" evolution illustration, with Dr Pepper playing a key role in human advancement—and people went, well, apeshit. Creationists, in particular, took a dim view of what they saw as the brand's tacit endorsement of Darwinism. The image currently has more than 30,000 likes, almost 4,000 shares, and more than 6,500 comments—both pro and con. Some have called for a boycott ("I ain't no freaking chimp. No more Dr Pepper for my household," reads a typical comment). But while the soft-drink brand may see Creationist sales slump a little, you'd expect the accompanying publicity to offset that and more. More broadly speaking, it's amazing that "March of Progress" parodies—thousands of which have been done over the years, including dozens in advertising—still have the power to offend. Once again, though, it goes to show how protests can spread like wildfire in social media, where outrage—and counteroutrage—are just a click away. Below, check out one of the more amusing "March of Progress" ad parodies we've seen, promoting happy hour at a bar, along with probably the most famous (de-)evolution-themed TV spot of all time—the Grand Prix-winning "Noitlove" spot for Guinness.