In 2011, the Bic company began to market a new pen product: “Bic Pens for Her”. This back-to-school ad captures the essence of their pitch, drawing consumers’ attention to the “fabulous styling” and “smooth writing” of the female-oriented Bic pen. In truth, the there were only minor color and style differences between the Bic Pen for Her and the regularly marketed Bic pens, although the Bic Pen for Her came with a slightly more expensive price-tag. The marketing effort received a good deal of pushback from consumers, many of whom took to the comments section of Amazon.com to post sarcastic reviews. “Since I’ve begun using these pens, men have found me more attractive and approchable,” one commenter joked.
What do you make of the controversy surrounding Bic Pen for Her? Do agree with those critics who believe the product is unnecessarily assigning gender to a product that is used by males and females in the same manner? Or do you see some value in having pens designed specifically “for her”?
At a basic level, if this product is a Bic Pen “For Her”, what does that say about the regular Bic pen products? Are they all “For Him”?
Can you think of other products, used by both men and women, for which specific “girl” versions have been produced?