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Bic’s “For Her” Pen is a line of disposable ballpoint pens designed for female consumers, produced and sold by the French manufacturer company Société Bic (BIC). Although the pens were introduced in June 2011, they became a trending topic in the news and blogosphere after tongue-in-cheek customer reviews of the product began to emerge on the online shopping site Amazon, in similar vein to the ironic appreciation of The Mountain’s Three Wolf Moon t-shirt.
In June 2011, a new line of BIC ballpoint pens dubbed “For Her” was introduced on Amazon. Available in several “feminine” colors like pink and purple, the product was initially released in Europe but became available through online shopping sites in the United States. According to BIC’s product description, the pen’s notable features includes tinted thin barrel for a better handling for women and matching plug and ink colors.
BIC’s release of “For Her” products was initially picked up by women’s gossip blog Jezebel in an article titled “Bic For Her: Finally, a Pen Ladies Can Use” on March 11th, 2011. Though written in a satirical tone similar to the Amazon reviews that came more than a year later, the product largely remained in obscurity until August 2012.
On August 15th, 2012, Amazon user Happyshopper submitted a customer review of the product in a post titled “The pen for women that lets them KNOW they are women!” featuring a tongue-in-cheek anecdote of how the pen significantly improved her sense of womanhood and inner femininity.
In the following days, hundreds of other sardonic customer reviews followed suit on the product page, many of which poked fun at the superflous nature of gender-specific writing utensils.
The sudden influx of customer review parodies was once again reported via Jezebel on August 27th, followed by other Gawker Media-affiliated blogs like io9 and Gawker, as well as the viral culture news site BuzzFeed on August 28th. The phenomenon also drew attention from major news outlets like ABC and advertising industry blogs, including AdAge, AdWeek and eConsultancy.
eConsultancy – Bic for Her: a different kind of social media firestorm