There was nothing unusual about the two average middle-aged women having a coffee at Starbucks. I probably wouldn’t have noticed the pair, but a flash of pinky-rose color in the hand of one of the them caught my eye. I saw that they each held a tiny plastic bottle and were opening them, pouring them into their venti coffee drinks. The liquid was the color of coffee with lots of creamer. I figured it was one of those energy or protein shots. I laughed wondering if they really believed that their zebra, mocha, half-caf frappuccinos with extra whip would be healthier with the shot. Intrigued, after the women left, I fished out one of the bottles from the recycling bin and read the name.
The storymaker in me was intrigued. What could it be? Was it an aphrodisiac like Spanish Fly or Ginseng? Were they sexing themselves up for their spouses? Or each other?
Armed with the name, I googled it. And learned that it’s simply a cream liqueur like Bailey’s Irish Cream or Rumchata. I was disappointed at first and then curious. Why would anyone spend $1.50 for a 50 ml bottle? Similar mini-bottles of liqueurs as well as hard alcohol sold for a dollar each at the local supermarket. Why would these woman pay fifty percent more?
Then it hit me. Brilliant marketing. The Forbidden Secret bottle is a sexy rose color. The name is intriguing. At a time when women “of a certain age” are no longer treated as anything but mothers, spouses, co-workers, or even worse, invisible, this drink is marketed for them to feel a little sexy, a little naughty, a little wild. A way to feel special and unique from all the other middle-aged women at Starbucks.
Kudos to the makers of Forbidden Secret. I think their idea will take off, marketing products to the forgotten women around the world who had the effrontery to enter middle-age and beyond.