Oh I’m sorry, was that a bit much? Was I laying it on a bit thick? Perhaps you don’t mind that sort of language, in the privacy of your one-on-one encounter with your computer screen. I’m not too bothered about that either. But when it is blazoned across several large billboards in Wandsworth I raised an eyebrow. Pussy, for those of you who don’t know, is an energy drink. Its ‘brain-child’ Jonnie Shearer came up with the name ‘long before the product did’. Right. He has cited Richard Branson and his Virgin brand as key inspiration. You can see what he did there.. took a tongue-in-cheek word and pushed the boundaries of what is acceptable. Richard Branson is actually firmly on board now (literally) and helps with the branding side of things. Its a great marketing fairytale story, of a grubby little idea hitting the big leagues hard.
The only problem is that it is insulting and crass (to me – woman). I envision a bunch of blokes hanging out, sniggering about “drinking pussy” and such like. Its so crude it hurts. Pussy, Virgin.. where are the emasculating brands? Perhaps a shoe brand called Dick might find leverage somewhere.
I’ve read some interesting things about testosterone levels decreasing in men over the last few decades* and wonder if these sort of ideas are demonstrable flails at the waning of manliness. Perhaps. But what I can tell you from a female perspective, is that a drink called Pussy does not empower women. For Jonnie Shearer to come up with the association with Virgin as being the only reason why he chose the name is is weak. Its one of those throwback ideas, not good on paper, but that actually MADE IT ON PAPER. What! What’s the reasoning behind choosing a word derogatory to the female sex for a product mostly targeted and consumed by the male gender? I find it disrespectful and setting a bad example to the kids. I don’t want to hear some kid on the bus boasting about how tasty Pussy is. And what the hell is a parent going to answer to their child’s question “what’s a pussy?” — “well dear, it is a derogatory term for a vagina, that can also be used to describe someone as weak or pathetic”. Fantastic. Thank-you Jonnie Shearer, I hope your kids are proud of their old Dad.
*Here’s something to whet your whistle..