Starting with Red Bull, the energy drink craze quickly
devolved developed into a shameless marketing frenzy. Every new brand blurs the line between serious marketing venture and pathetic self parody.
We've reported previously on the strange level of demand for these cans of processed sugar and caffeine, but their popularity has led to increased scrutiny.
The Consumerist posted something yesterday about Oklahoma's state legislators. Their knickers are all knotted up over an energy drink being marketed under the Cocaine brand name...you know, negative influence on children--and it is a legit concern. Especially if kids try to snort the stuff.
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Meanwhile, a Prince Edward Island (that's in some place called Canada--couldn't find it on a U.S. map, though) medical society has been pushing to ban sales of energy drinks to minors. Yet with the need for brand identity forcing new labels to sell increasingly strange combinations, like blood orange and chilli, maybe the market will regulate itself.
As far as we can tell, the worst social ills aren't caused by the drinks themselves, but rather by some of their manufacturers. A few concerned folks are taken aback when they read on Wikipedia that the widely available Rock Star brand is owned by Russell Goldencloud Weiner, son of the drink's inventor (and everybody's favorite pre-fascist talk-show host, Michael Savage--real name Michael Weiner). At least one Web outlet is spreading the word and calling for a boycott of the product. After all, they say, Russell's politics didn't fall far from the Weiner tree. He and his father co-founded the allegedly arch-conservative Paul Revere Society. I say "allegedly" because their Website is defunct and there's hardly a trace left.
The Rockstar brand definitely cultivates an image contrary to Savage's anti-everything political rants. Check out the co-sponsors for the Rockstar Taste of Chaos Tour.
Can't we all just get along...and open a can of Coke?