“Go Girl” : Marketing Girl Power

Samhita’s September 4th post on “Go Girl,” the product that allows female bodied folks to pee standing up, reminded me of another product called “Go Girl,” which I saw an advertisement for while on the road this summer. It was so bad that I had to take a picture. The bright pink poster advertised Go Girl Sugar Free Energy Drinks, tag line “Beautiful Energy.”
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The poster featured three young, thin, feminine, able-bodied, light skinned women-on-the-go and a pink ribbon-50 cents from every 46 dollar case of Go Girl is donated to breast cancer research. The ad also offered the following information: Go Girl contains less than 3 calories, less than one gram of carbs, and “Super Citrimax, a mild herbal appetite suppressant.”


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Really? Appetite suppressant? The hypocrisy of advertisements and products like Go Girl is glaring and obnoxious. To package an appetite suppressing diet soft drink in the garb of girl power is not necessarily shocking, after all, riot grrrl morphed into spice girl and self-confidence is used to sell soap (See lostinggenerica and electrictoasters telling comments on the “Go Girl: Pee Standing Up” article regarding marketing drenched in pink, and Dove’s body image ads). But something about this mission statement: “Go Girl Energy Drink’s Mission is to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer research and prevention” and the fact that Go Girl donates less than 2% of its sales to cancer research and prevention, combined with its girl-power-equals-skinny-and-pink marketing really ups the annoying factor for me.

Check out the Go Girl website
, it’s kind of absurd. My favorite is that under “Top 5 Things Said About the Taste,” number five is “Tastes great with vodka!” Healthy. healthy.
<3 jenna b.
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4 Comments

  1. Nettle Syrup
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    50 cents per 46 dollars? Wow, what a massive donation. So they just chucked the pink ribbon thing in there for a token, probably. I’ll probably get stick for this too, like I already did for the men-getting-mammograms thing, but I really do think the whole breast cancer ribbon is used as a token to show ‘hey, we’re into girl power’. Of course, every little helps and 50 cents is better than nothing, but seriously…
    And ‘mild appetite suppressant’? Give me a fucking break. This is depressing.

  2. judassong
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    What scares me is that it is an appetite suppressant but is also being advertised as a great mix for vodka.

  3. Meggy B
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    PINKWASHING! (like greenwashing, only more nauseating). http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/

  4. A male
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been doing an online search and cannot find a balance sheet for Nor-Cal Beverage Co. Inc., which owns the brand and produces Go Girl. Official statements since launch are optimistic, however. Nor-Cal is also a bottler for AriZona Beverage, Coca Cola Inc., and others. With a total estimated income of $149 million in 2006, Nor-Cal spent $47 million in 2008 on retooling for its new product lines.
    http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2008/11/03/story9.html?
    Lacking such financial data as net income and profit, I cannot judge whether or not a 1.1% of gross sales donation to cancer prevention or research is an appropriate level of giving (another Go Girl product donates to the ovarian cancer cause). The Go Girl site claims “In 2008 alone, Go Girl donated over $70,000 to the cause.”
    http://www.gogirlenergy.com/?navid=12
    So I guess gross sales were about $7 million, about 140,000 cases.
    Is it the perceived paltry level of giving while claiming to be doing good what is offensive? How much should Go Girl, or everyone be giving? Ben & Jerry’s ice cream donates 7.5% of pretax profits to its causes, and is lauded and receives awards for its giving. On sales of $300 million in 2008, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation gives away “upwards of” $1.1 million per year to its causes. $1.1 million of $300 million, about 0.3%, is less than Go Girl gives exclusively to breast cancer.

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