Forget energy drinks. They're so 2007. What you really need in these tumultuous times is a relaxation drink. In a bit of marketing counter-programming, that's what the makers of new beverages like ViB, Blue Cow and Drank are calling themselves. The latter, which Rob Walker profiled in The New York Times Magazine on Dec. 31 (and which AdFreak mentioned last June), seems to play on the lineage of "purple drank," a potentially fatal mixture of cough syrup and soda, though Drank inventor Peter Bianchi has disputed that. Another relaxation drink, Purple Stuff, dropped the tagline "Lean with it" after critics said the phrase was associated with the soda/cough-medicine mixture. It's all a bit of unwanted controversy in a category that can be seen as a healthier alternative to alcohol. But there's another big problem with the emerging category: "Relaxation drink" sounds awfully close to "relaxant," a synonym for "laxative," leaving one to wonder if Blue Cow is actually producing Milk of Magnesia.
—Posted by Todd Wasserman