But really, how do you feel about drinking pussy?
Oh, not THAT sort of pussy! No. God, don’t be so FILTHY. I meant the energy drink, clearly! No double entendres here, thanks very much. See, look, THE DRINK!
Straight from the Pussy website, apparently, “the name Pussy shocks and demands attention – that’s the point. Inhibition is a recipe for mediocrity. This is a premium energy drink named with confidence.”
Ah – so I am *supposed* to be shocked! Well, that’s okay then. Funnily enough, it doesn’t mention anything about me also feeling vaguely homicidal, and wanting to punch the creators in the face. Guess they had a limited word count.
The other part that I find vaguely hilarious (in between me head butting the wall, that is). “This is a premium energy drink named with confidence.”
Confidence? Really?! See, I would have gone with stupidity, sexism, idiocy, and downright blatant misogyny before I would have said “confidence”. Maybe they were confident in their idiocy? Confident in their ability to laugh off the ridiculous amount of sexism they’ve managed to pack into one marketing campaign?
After trawling through their website, I’ve reproduced a few of snappy marketing one liners on there for your amusement:
“Pussy starts conversations. It believes in having a good time as often as possible”
“Looking for Pussy? To find out which bars, venues and stores stock Pussy near you, call us on 020 7348 9870.”
“Pussy is a 100% natural drink. No nasty chemicals and nothing manufactured. It is made for people looking for a natural alternative.”
“Pussy is spontaneous, entertaining, optimistic and fun.”
(All quotes taken from the Pussy website)
(Also, if you’re my mother and you’re reading this, please skip the next paragraph).
Now, let’s theoretically pretend that this double meaning is ACTUALLY trying to refer to a woman’s genitals for a minute, and compare what they’ve said with the truth.
Is my vagina spontaneous? Only when it decides to send me my period a week early, or late. So I guess you can have that one, Pussy.
Is my vagina entertaining? Only since I taught it how to play the piano.
Is it optimistic? God yes. Sometimes my vagina and I just sit up late into the night, talking. And I’m all, “God, my life is SO SHIT”, and my vagina is then all, “Nawww, Jess, cheer up! Be happy! You’ve got such a good life!”. Yep. My vagina is definitely optimistic.
Is is fun? Of course. Sometimes my vagina and I just go out for coffee, and get our nails done together, and then we sit on the beach.. oh, wait. I’m thinking of this ad now:
Does my vagina start conversations? Perhaps not mine specifically, but I do know that, according to popular culture, it’s all that men seem to talk about. So again, correct. Though personally, my vagina’s not that chatty.
And if you’re looking for my vagina? You probably won’t find it by calling that number.
But, in all serious, and vagina jokes aside, this entire ad campaign and product is just foul. It’s disgusting, it’s stupid, and it’s trying to play into a market of double meanings and rude jokes.
Not only does it manage to take sexism in advertising to an entire new level, but it also does so whilst claiming that it is pushing the boundaries, and by not being “mediocre”.
The creator (a man, obviously), Jonnie Shearer, obviously did not consider the thousands of women who are going to be serving drinks behind a bar, or simply standing beside someone as they order a “pussy”. He is obviously never going to be in the position of being an 18-year-old bar maid on a busy Saturday night, when some sleazy guy leans over and asks her for a pussy. I’m not saying that Jonnie Shearer caused these situations – but by god, he most certainly had a hand in furthering the instances of them.
All things aside, it is NOT okay for this sort of post-modern, retro sexist, double-entendre stinking pile of crap to exist. It simply isn’t. Anyone with half a brain can see that their advertising campaigns are blatantly sexist, and if it was up to me, I would show Jonnie Shearer the world that exists outside of his male-dominated perspective. A world where rape exists, a world where “pussy” is actually sold in the sex trade, and a world where woman have to be confronted with their genitals treated as a form of humour for this “natural energy drink”.
And just in case you were in any doubt about whether this product, and their advertisements, are sexist? Here are a few more posters advertising the drink:
You could argue that, perhaps, these ads are empowering. I mean in the last one the woman is clearly getting *something* out of it. And in the others, all the women seem to be having a pretty good time.
But there’s a few things I’d like to point out. In all but one ad, the man is holding the drink- ie, he is drinking the pussy (and in the last ad, he appears to be literally doing that). The woman is always naked, the man is always clothed – he’s a position of power, and she’s in a state of undress (which, coincidentally, is how uncomfortable some women might feel after seeing these ads. Like they’re naked). And finally? The women are all typically attractive (as are the men – but the men aren’t naked). Yet another body image issue for women to be concerned about. The only women deemed suitable to have ‘attractive pussies’ are slim, have light skin, and are young.
I’ll leave the final word to the advertising guru, Don Draper.
“Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is okay. You are okay.”
Pussy seem to have forgotten this while they were busy trying to create attention for themselves. Controversy wanes, publicity wanes, but happiness doesn’t. And who on earth is this drink supposed to make happy? Not women. Not the majority of men. That leaves them a very small market.
Don Draper isn’t pleased with you, pussy.