Do you think advertising has the absolute power to absolutely corrupt? Are young minds more vulnerable to subtle and overt advertising genius than older thinkers — or are we all enslaved by the temptation of our eyes and ears?

How do you explain the market research that led to the creation of two brand-new energy drink brands: Cocaine and Pimpjuice? Are we supposed to get a pre-thrill high from the idea of drinking “Cocaine” instead of snorting it?

What does this energy drink say about our culture? Is this product an expression of a free society — or is it proof of a further squeezing away of the moral duty we require of each other?

Now how do you feel about Pimpjuice? Would you purchase this product, bring it lovingly to your lips and slowly drink down the juice wrung from a pimp?

What’s going on here with this crass branding? Is the “energy drink” marketplace so packed with caffeinated competition that the only way to get heard is to go loud and rude and let go a giant, Pimpjuicy juicy fart in a crowded elevator?

What’s next on the caffeinated energy drink product horizon? Heroin and Pussyjuice?


  1. Hi David,
    It is interesting to note that the meaning of the word “pimp” has changed.
    The “Online Slang Dictionary” published by Berkeley, gives the following definition:
    pimp n. 1. a maile in charge of prostitutes. Note: in recent years, has come to mean nothing of the sort. Today it’s a very ambiguous term, used as either a compliment or an insult towards a male. In its positive form, it means that the person is “cool.” In its negative form, it insults their attitudes, clothing, or general behavior. (“He is such a pimp.”)
    pimp adj. 1. very good, excellent ; COOL. AWESOME. (“That is a pimp car.”)
    I could find no such updated definition for “cocaine,” except they do have an entry under “crackhead” that is used to generally describe a stupid person.

  2. Hi Donna —
    I don’t substitute slang definitions for meanings of words. Slang is colloquial and effervescent and temporary and has no bearing on the established meaning of words with a verifiable history.
    We all know what a “pimp” is — and it is a cruel and unsavory word with a very specific history in our culture and its definition is found in any traditional dictionary — and we know what “Pimpjuice” means and it doesn’t mean “cool” even though the advertisers snicker to try to convince us of that and if we fall for those ploys against an independent and cogent mind and swap variant slang definitions for real meaning then we debase the very language we are trying to preserve.

  3. Sadly, this so called Pimp Juice – named after a similarly controversial rap song – has been around since around 2003 – when I came to visit Seattle for the first time, I saw a can of it and thought it must be a joke.
    Alas, it is no joke.

  4. Hi Gordon —
    I know it’s a song and 2003 is recent enough for it to no longer be sold down a free river market. We need more consumer outrage and revolt –- nay, revulsion — at this kind of purposeful demeaning trend in provocative consumerism.
    Companies that sell this sort of product should be made to pay in shunning and disdain to help darken their bottom line.
    What is Cocaine adding to the world? How does Pimpjuice make us better?
    I refuse to allow rappers or singers or popular icons to redefine our culture downward and to change the meaning of established words for their own selfish and narrow financial purposes.

  5. Isn’t this another example of counter culture becoming popular? Can we guard against it from happening?

  6. I suppose you could make that argument, Anne, that the fringe is becoming mainstream — but when you have these products aimed directly at the youth market to purchase “popularity” we all begin to have trouble surviving in such a crass economy.

  7. I’m not sure how it can be prevented. If the songs are popular, the trends will follow where the kids want to go. We could do censorship but then what about the sex magazines and other items that are in bad taste?

  8. Good points, Anne. This is a cultural cross-contamination posing as mainstream entertainment to grab and influence kids. Cigarettes, booze and skin mags also crass down the culture, but we have lawful and societal methods in place to protect kids from getting involved with that sort of bad influence. We don’t yet have the same sorts of protections in place for energy drinks.

  9. David!
    I just noticed a big banner for this Cocaine stuff in the convenience store right by my apartment a few nights ago. I thought, “What the heck?! How ridiculous!” I am with you, it is crass, crass, crass!

  10. Hi David,
    Your point is well taken regarding not letting advertisers control our use of words, or minds for that matter.
    At what point, though, do we accept a slang definition of a word? Never? What about words, such as “faggot” that, in Shakespeare’s day meant “a bundle of sticks.” This meaning is now obscure. I doubt that if anyone today would continue to accept that definition.
    Suppose one said “Look at that faggot in the yard next door,” intending to reference a bundle of sticks, the traditional meaning of the word. I think most people in this century would think they were referring, in a derogatory way, to a homosexual.
    We could certainly ignore temporary slang, such as the “pimp” as “cool” definition in the Berkeley slang dictionary, but what about slang words in a regular dictionary? I think it would be difficult to ignore them entirely.

  11. That sounds like a lack of parenting. The kids can’t drink Pimpjuice without getting the money from somewhere. I’m not sure if we should punish advertisers for that.

  12. Emily!
    You gotta buy one and review it for us! I wonder what it tastes like? If it doesn’t give you a “Cocaine buzz” can you get your money back? 😀
    What do your neighbors think of the banner?

  13. Donna —
    We’ve discussed the “faggot” issue here before and it really is a cultural phenomenon. In the UK it means something entirely different than it does here and that’s too bad because the UK honors the genesis and history of the word while our culture has twisted the meaning of the word for other ends.
    “Queer” is another word that has been redefined and mangled by politics and selfish societal interests,
    I don’t think we should fall for these re-definitions of established words. We should not allow the words to have their meanings changed for convenience and to placate pop culture idols.
    Slang has its Oxford definition and established words that become changed by being redeployed as slang is something that erodes established values in a culture by making meaning less important than verbal invocation:

    a type of language that consists of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal, are more common in speech than writing, and are typically restricted to a particular context or group of people : grass is slang for marijuana | army slang.

  14. You’re right about the parents being inactive — but advertising is pernicious and it seeps into muscle and marrow — few parents have the ability to shield their children from that kind of eye and ear onslaught 24/7 and so the rest of society should stand up and say, “Enough of that, thank you.”

  15. HA! Give my hard-earned $2.00 (or however much one of those ridiculous drinks are) to that silly, dirty business? No!
    You do it… it has to be better than that “chocolate” cereal you endured. 🙂

  16. You don’t have it yet? Interesting that it would show up in good ol’ Oklahoma before up there with you East Coasters. Wonder why?
    Fine! I’ll go get some dang Cocaine and I’ll drink it and tell you how it is! But you must remember…this is only for posterity.
    And if I end up liking it I am going to be mad at you. :mrgreen:

  17. Hi David,
    I believe that slang, like four-letter words, are a lazy substitute for “the right word.”
    That said, lest someone consider me an erudite snob, let it be known I am fluent in Marine French.

  18. Yay for Emily!
    We don’t have it here yet that I see. I haven’t seen Pimpjuice around here, either.
    Cocaine is relatively new and lots of test marketing is done in the Midwest. If you folk’ll drink it, so will the rest of the country. 😀
    You can put your review here in the comments — you don’t have to write a full standalone review… unless you want to…
    I do admit, however, I am smitten by the post title, “Emily McRae Drinks Herself Some Cocaine” so it could be the evil twin to your “Emily McRae has V.D.” story. :mrgreen:

  19. Donna —
    I think you’re right! Slang is the lazy way out! No wonder it is so popular here in the USA!
    You might need to explain to our international readers what you mean by “Marine French.” 😀

  20. Hi David!
    To your final question.
    “What’s next on the caffeinated energy drink product horizon?
    Heroin and Pussyjuice?”
    Well, here is your answer.
    Sum Poosie
    If you look at the logo, the cat was just an afterthought to cover the rear body part of the creators. The implication is something different from a kitty.

  21. Here is another site that reviews the drink. The review talks of the logo change and the back story change of the name. So it seems that the original intent was a lot more naughty than a kitty, lol.
    Sum Poosie Review

  22. Ha! Test it on the yokels, eh? Nice.
    Yeah, I bet you like that! Just don’t even think that I’ll be doing a review for the female counterpart to Pimpjuice when it becomes available. :mrgreen: That title would even make me blush.

  23. Hi David,
    Definition of Marine French: a romance language comprised primarily of four-letter words, e.g., cluster fuck or cocksucker, used proficiently by Marines and other military personnel.

  24. Emily!
    Yeah! The yokels’ll eat and drink anything! 😀 I’m one, too, so don’t bee toooo insulted. You can never really leave the Midwest behind.
    Ew! The thought of you reviewing… hey waitaminute…. after reading Eban’s comment… “Emily McRae Laps Herself Up Some Poosiejuice” has an awfully fun ring to it as an article title! :mrgreen:

  25. Hi David,
    I think an unseen hacker wrenched control of my WordPress account. I plead the fifth.

  26. Ha! That is, of course, assuming that these drinks will be disgusting. What if they’re good? Delicious? Finger-licking good? :mrgreen:

  27. Emily —
    Ooof! Excellent point! If they make you want to lick your fingers — I think we’ll have to start a whole new blog for that — with video and photos, of course! 😆

  28. Temple3!
    Welcome to Urban Semiotic!
    Yeowzah! I think you’re right about Bud! My international friends call it, “American piss in a can.”

  29. HAHA! Well, we will have to charge admission to that site, I believe.

  30. Hi David,
    I agree with Nicola.
    Let’s raise the level of this blog. It’s starting to sink into the sexist pool.
    A discussion of “Emily’s juices” is beyond reproach.
    I am not kidding. I may be affluent in Marine French, but there are limits to decency.

  31. Hi David,
    You tell Nicola that “Yes it went wrong. Wrong in oh so many ways!” What do you mean by that?

  32. My sister-in-law gave it to me, now if that is not wrong, nothing is. Maybe I need a 12 step.
    I am Eban, and my sister-in-law gave me Sum Poosie!
    I am definitely heading for one of the rings of Dante’s imagination, lol.

  33. Eban!
    Ooo! What a juicy twist to your story! :mrgreen:
    It is certainly interesting who gave you Sum Poosie — now we need to know WHY! 😉
    What kind of thirst did she think you needed to slake?

  34. Hi David,
    I understand your comment. No, I don’t think you’re a sexist pig!
    Sometimes you are an enigma.

  35. I think she felt sorry for me and figured that the caffeine would help me to solve the riddle of how she, in fact, received Sum Poosie.
    You see, she got it from Pete, and for the life of me I can’t figure out how Pete had Sum Poosie to give.

  36. Oh, if only they would make those pesky medical records public, the truth may be found. However, much like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop, the world may never know.
    The spiraling of my boggled mind may find no end, lol.

  37. Hi David,
    The beverage Coca-Cola, introduced around 1902, contained traces of cocaine– hence the name “coca-cola.” By 1929, it was cocaine free.
    Do the advertisers want to do a retro thing? Their packaging with the red and white cans mimick the Coke cans.
    The original Coke apparently gave one “a lift,” but not the jolt given by the Cocaine drink.
    I think Coca-Cola should sue the Cocaine producers for copyright violations on their logo. It seems the Cocaine producers are trying to piggyback on Coca-Cola.
    It is reprehensible that the Cocaine advertisers would promulgate a label that is obviously associated in our time with drug addicts. In Victorian times, a mild dose of cocaine was, perhaps, like a strong cup of coffee. In our day, cocaine is a powerful drug that is associated with crackheads and the like.

  38. Funny you should say that as my sister-in-law is in town later this week. She also recently visited Pete. What a coincidence. Now to find out if she has one of those big-rig driver licenses.
    If she does, perhaps she could supply some nice, cooling, Sum Possie through her hose.
    Hey! Maybe we have figured out the whole Pete delivery system after all. (Dante’s call is now a full on scream)
    Now on to the Tootsie Roll Pops. Yeehaw!

  39. Hi David,
    Dr. Freud could certainly analyze Eban, and the full Poosie report would be telling, indeed!

  40. Maybe so Donna, Freud could be fun, especially with the decomposition and all. ( I love zombies!) But I think the truth would be better supplied with Dr. Phil. I bet I could make him cry, then he could consume Sum Poosie for comfort.
    Never underestimate the power of Sum Poosie. (Anybody else think I should get some advertising revenue from those guys after this?)

  41. Eban,
    You rock on the advertising for Sum Poosie! Do not demand less than a quarter of a mil from the advertisers. Retire early and travel with Pete.

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