We’ve spoken here before about the risks of social media marketing. If you hit the wrong note with your audience, you can make your message go viral… the wrong way. Look at Bic’s attempt to market a line of pens specifically toward women – “Bic Cristal For Her”.
You may remember the dangers of marketing to minority communities without really getting to know your audience. Well, the same thing applies to marketing to women. The reactions to Bic’s new product were so enthusiastically over-the-top, and spread so wide, that (as with @celebboutique’s “Aurora” blunder) it’s hard to imagine that it wasn’t a deliberate ploy for attention.
People quickly leapt on the simplistic gender cues that Bic piled into the packaging, and found endless ways to riff on them, from the obvious…
…to the fantastical:
And, of course, the just plain funny:
While one reviewer saw it as an opportunity for political humor about the waqe gap, (” I was elated to find this product, but I think it should cost 24% less than Bic for Men to adjust to my delicate feminine salary. As a secretary in the typing pool I would be able to buy so many more pens for me and my friends if these sparkly pastel gems were less expensive!”), Business Insider reported that the pens actually added injury to insult by costing “up to 70 percent more than Bic’s identical non-gendered pens.”
The best review, however, may be this turn for the surreal:
“These pens are the biggest unicorn assault on unicorn feminism ever!!! I accidentally came across some of these unicorn pens at a friend’s place and tried to write the next section of my feminist manifesto. I realized these unicorn pens unicorn censored each time I tried to write a swear word and replaced it with ‘unicorn’. Unicorn this!!!! This is the biggest unicorn assault on women ever!
Unicorn unicorn unicorn!”