I Love Blow Energy Drink

Energy drink marketing is kinda like soda pop marketing — on steroids. And taurine. And caffeine. All at once.

Energy drinks are mostly geared toward thrill-seeking youth looking for a coffee alternative…a legal high. The packaging is aggressive–even dangerous–with monsters, aliens, skateboards, crocodiles, rattlesnakes and other creatures meant to make the customer feel just a little rebellious, just a little dangerous themselves.

To stand out in a hyper-competitive category where danger and rebellion are the keys to success would require an energy drink company to push it.

Enter Blow Energy Drink Mix.

Named, packaged and promoted like cocaine, the product comes with a mirror and fake credit card so you’ll get the complete booger sugar experience.

As you might guess, the controversy surrounding the product has given Redux Beverages a lot of media coverage. They are accustomed to media attention, though. Their “Cocaine” Energy Drink was pulled off the shelves by the FDA last year.

YouTube features news stories from around the nation, but as you’d expect, most feature outraged parents and drug counselors. Here’s one of the most concise and unbiased stories I could find:

The obvious concern here is that the Blow glorifies drug usage, and since energy drinks are mostly consumed by youth that are looking to rebel, Blow could be the product that takes them one step closer to the real thing (and I don’t mean Coca-Cola).

So, has Redux found a niche and is doing a good job of driving word of mouth?

Or have they gone too far by creating another product doing more harm than good?

What do you think? Please comment below to weigh in.

Special thanks to Responsible Marketing subscriber Chris Ballard for the story idea. Much appreciated!

Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • Great Marketing strategy. . . unfortunately, a waste of talent.
    This is specious and in my opinion, without any redeeming social value.
    It parodies and evidently endorses the use of non-pharmaceutical drugs in a rather obvious manner.
    I find it totally irresponsible.

    . . . and I don’t mind my name on this.

    Bill Kovach
    http://www.kovachcommunications.com

  • It’s funny once, irresponsible (and a bit boring) twice. And not particularly original – how many years has that Coke spoof t-shirt been around? Thirty? Forty?

  • I think it is totally irresponsible marketing. Supposedly the company have identified and are targeting people who use cocaine or have a propensity to indulge. This is a clear case in which profit overrides social responsibility.

    Fortunately, most ethical marketers can see through this blatant attempt to monitize a very addictive behavior. If you can imagine marketers US drug use data to determine the potential size of their market. Their intervention hurts the fight against drug and inevitably crime.

    Thats my two cents.

  • Larry Wettlaufer says:

    It is a matter of being legal or ethical. Too many times we have seen where corporate “sense” crosses the line from unethical to illegal. Why even think of something that is ethically inappropriate unless it is solely for profit? We investors need to drive the value of the stock down, using this as an example, for any other corporation who wishes to follow suit.

    There is a limit to what legal protection society should have and I firmly believe that government cannot dictate “common sense” so we need to initiate action with our vote – don’t buy the stock, don’t buy the product, ignore the advertising but lobby (“free speech”) the advertising industry/media (“free press”) so that this product does not have high visibility where/when there is exposure. If newspapers wish to print the ads then encourage them to do so in less visible/less desirable locations. If TV wishes to show the ads then encourage broadcasters to do so on less-watched shows vs. the top rated series.

    We cannot eliminate drugs from our society but this, obviously, glorifies drug use and only encourages more youth to consider that option.

    Just my thoughts.
    Larry E. Wettlaufer

  • Kevin says:

    The idea of even playing with something that is a serious problem in our society is just plain stupid.
    This goes beyond being irresponsible. Images are what cause damage…
    The idea of even putting something like this on shelves, and knowing the allure of things that are forbidden will cause young people to look for it.

    Putting it on the internet is marketing to our kids. Kids are very technologically savvy, and the internet is their world, whether the founder will admit it or not. No amount of parental filters or blocks can keep our kids from these kinds of things.

    Responsibility is shared in the images that are being fed to us all. Whether it’s a drink, movie, video, or anything else….It’s wrong.

  • Bill Boyd says:

    The company CEO interviewed by Fox News said one honest thing: “Our ultimate goal is to sell a heck of a lot of Blow.” Everything else he said was window dressing — and totally disingenuous. (For example, how does “flirting with” drug-culture images not constitute an endorsement? It makes no more sense than Hillary Clinton’s distinction in the MSNBC debate last night between “denouncing” and “rejecting” support from Louis Farrakhan.)

    Addictive behavior has destroyed two lives in my family — and negatively affected many more. I find nothing cute or amusing in marketing that tacitly endorses — and let’s be clear, it does exactly that — the use of dangerous and illegal substances.

    This is not about being avant garde. It’s not about moving marketing forward, It’s not about freedom of speech. It’s about making money. Unfortunately, very little seems to trump that in 21st-century America.

    Interesting that you should mention Coca-Cola. Between 1888 — when it was first sold as a patent medicine — and 1903, Coke contained about nine milligrams of cocaine per serving. It really was The Real Thing.

  • Totally irresponsible. Typical of this rather sad category of Energy Drinks. It’s big business for sure – but you can see the blow-back (no pun) coming soon. Some of these drinks have 3 times the amount of caffeine as a large Starbucks drip and 5X a Mountain Dew. Good article here on the subject…
    http://www.livescience.com/health/061029_ap_energy_drinks.html

    Gotta get back to my Grande Latte 🙂

  • When I saw the news report of this product, I was shocked at the company’s representatives who stated that this product was not marketed towards kids, but to people who lived through the 80’s and was mocking the 80’s lifestyle. I’m not familiar with a lot of late 30’s-50 year olds who are the prime target of energy drink marketing…clearly the truth has been seperated from the strategy here.

    This is the definition of irresponsible marketing. While there may be a lot of “Buzz” about the product, I’m doing my part to make sure it’s negative.

  • […] response to my post regarding Blow Energy Drink yesterday was a hearty two thumbs down. So, I can only imagine what you […]

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