saving our sons from superheroes, slackers, and other media stereotypes

Turning Boys into Monsters: Energy Drink Leaves a Foul Taste (Again)

From Amy Jussel, Shaping Youth

monsterDec. 8, 2009 It’s Tuesday, time for our weekly “Packaging Boyhood” focus, so what better time than the holiday season to sound the ‘red’ siren on the ‘green’ brand that tween and teen boys are sucking up to…Monster energy drink.

With everything from motocross and macho madness to the thumping, screaming, ‘over the top’ rebel yell, Monster ‘packs a vicious punch’ by creating lil’ monsters out of the male middle-school set without a clue (or a care) as to the impact of the jolt and crash ‘kick ass flavor’ to their adolescent bods.

Wow. I feel like I got a testosterone infusion just reading the freakin’ label, “when it’s time to unleash the beast within, grab a Monster and GO BIG!’

Packaging Boyhood authors wrote a whole chapter on ‘What Boys Do’ and rightfully nail this verbiage as positioning violence and risk taking and ‘pushing the limits’ as a culture conduit to ‘manhood.’

Gotta say, it’s been fun counter-marketing the sheer absurdity of the entire energy drink category based on the hyped up, gender specific packaging alone. (not just ‘Monster, Monster Hitman, & Monster Sniper’ but Full Throttle, Red Bull, and other spiky, thuggish, ‘tough guise’ contrasts to the myriad pink think thinspiration cues of energy drinks like RockStar for the girls) It’s so predictably stereotyped that it’s almost amusing, and easy to see into the ‘crystal ball’ of the future and be able to tell kids what to watch for in advance. (more….)