The Shame and Awfulness of 5-Hour ENERGY’s Pink Play

I hate pink.

Not the color, per se, but the bullshit movement it’s come to symbolize.

The pink breast cancer movement—once, I’m pretty sure, well-intended—has jumped the shark. No, wait. The pink breast cancer movement is Fonzie falling into the ocean, the shark coming along and ripping apart his body, gnashing through his soaked leather jacket, gnawing on a severed foot.

Or, put differently, watch the above commercial.

Then watch it again.

And again.

And again.

Once, I thought KFC selling pink buckets to support breast cancer was the worst thing ever (eat a chicken breast, save a human breast?). Now, however, I’m not so sure. Just to get this straight: In order to help in the fight against breast cancer, I’m supposed to buy a pink bottle of 5-Hour ENERGY Drink? In other words, by giving my hard-earned money to 5-Hour ENERGY Drink, 5-Hour ENERGY Drink will surrender a tiny percentage of it to charity? And that counts as a good deed? As joining the fight?

To be blunt: What the fuckity fuck fuck is going the fuck on here?

Here’s an idea: Fuck your shit energy drink. How about I just give me money directly to the Mayo Clinic? In fact, 5-Hour ENERGY Drink asswipes, if you’re so incredibly charitable, how about you give ALL the profits to charity? And, since we’re on a roll, how about you do so without telling any of us? How about doing it purely out of decency? Out of compassion? To hell with the pink bottle, the raspberry flavor, the Grade-C celebrity-stuffed commercials?

Just donate, guys.

Just donate.

Oh, wait. I forgot. That would take a moral compass that is, sadly, incompatible with corporate America.

One more thing. I just watched the commercial again, then froze it when the teeny-teeny-teeny-tiny wording appeared at the bottom of the screen. Wanna know what it says? Here you go …

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 10.49.46 PMYes, a donation of five cents per bottle will be given by 5-Hour ENERGY. Five cents. From a drink that costs, on average, more than $2 a pop. The stinkin’ company even admits that, at a minimum, $75,000 will be given—which just might pay for a couple of mammograms and three hospital apple sauces.

This is the worst of the worst of corporate greed and callousness. Has anyone at 5-Hour ENERGY ever seen what breast cancer looks like? It’s not a jolly little subject that calls for pink jerseys and peppy music and Jim Furyk’s freaky haired wife. No, it’s foreign growths in your body. It’s chemo and radiation and fear and awfulness isolation and loneliness and dread and, oftentimes, death.

It has nothing—absolutely nothing—to do with this bullshit, and watching the commercial sickens me to my very core.


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6 thoughts on “The Shame and Awfulness of 5-Hour ENERGY’s Pink Play”

  1. My dad and I were buying Sun Chips this weekend and yeah, they turned the bags pink and were like, we’ve donated 150k to the Komen foundation. However, written in small print on the back was the fact that buying this bag of chips will not make them donate more money to the Komen foundation. Aside from the fact that its the Komen foundation, they’re trying to sell more bags of chips by making people think buying this particular product will make you a better person than buying the other. Also 150,000 dollars is pin money for a company like Frito-Lay. That’s 37,593 7 oz bags of Sun Chips. That’s a little more than one percent of one per cent of the population of America who needs to buy Sun Chips for them to break even. It’s so exploitative and I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed.

      1. There are very few things which are legitimately good for you that have packaging on which anything can be promoted. :

  2. The pink movement is to raise awareness and I’d have to say it’s done a pretty good job especially with organizations like the NFL and the WWE taking up the cause of wearing pink in October. As for 5 hour energy – I’m having trouble seeing your issue with this. I assume you can’t be serious with the suggestion that a company donate ALL their profits to a charity – I’m sure as much as you support Breast Cancer Research you wouldn’t/couldn’t donate ALL of the profits of your next book to the cause. Clearly, a company deciding to roll out a “pink” campaign is also in effort to sell more product, but if a portion of the proceeds (even a tiny one) goes toward a good cause, isn’t that called a win-win? I don’t know Jeff, I read your articles (or rants in some cases) with an open mind but sometimes it feels like you like to complain for the sake of complaining given you have the forum to do so. Just my opinion.

    1. Also, I would encourage you to take a look at how much money some corporations actually give to charities. The corporation I work for gave $124 *million* as charitable donations last year alone. Corporations and donations “incompatible”? A little harsh.

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