Amazon Driver Piss Becomes Top-Selling Energy Drink

Amazon Driver Piss Becomes Top-Selling Energy Drink

It’s easy to laugh about Piss Jugman, but piss jugs are a real problem. Not only do they become biohazards when tossed on the side of the road, but they also only exist because companies don’t give drivers enough time to go to the bathroom the normal way. One company that is notorious for expecting drivers to do this is Amazon. So when documentary maker Oobah Butler found a bunch of piss bottles outside an Amazon fulfillment center, he decided to pull a stunt to get Amazon’s attention.

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First, he talked with a number of Amazon drivers to confirm that the piss bottles were theirs, as he explains in this recent Vice article. Unsurprisingly, the answer was yes. “I only do this because I have no other options,” one driver told him. “Other people who go slower just end up getting fired.” And it’s not just a problem in the U.S. Butler spoke to drivers in Italy, Spain and the UK who all told the same story. His solution? Collect actual piss jugs from Amazon drivers and then sell them on Amazon.

However, instead of just posting photos of the pee bottles on the listing, Butler decided to give it a little branding:

But what would it look like? I sit down in my basement for an afternoon with my friend Stan Cross, a writer and visual artist, and we toss some names around. Drive? It’s already taken. #1? Too much. How about something that does exactly what it says on the tin: “Release”. Or “Release Energy”, to be precise. It’s perfect.

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Now, I want some taglines that truly capture the ingenuity of this product, and I have some ideas. “The world’s first fully reusable energy drink”, “once you’re done with its contents, simply fill it back up to the brim and start again” and of course, “infinite refills”.

Now, for the design, and Stan has something up his sleeve. Bask in the glory of Release Energy’s vivid colour [sic] and shrewd marketing.

Despite listing urea as an ingredient and having no paperwork proving his product was safe for human consumption, Amazon let him list the piss bottles for sale and automatically moved Release Energy into the energy drink category. After a lot of effort, Butler was able to get it listed as a bitter lemon drink. Again, there was no pushback from Amazon. After all, who cares if someone is selling literal human urine as long as ole Bezos gets a cut of it?

Eventually, Release Energy was removed from the Amazon store but not before it actually became the top-ranked drink in the bitter lemon category. In a statement, Amazon told Vice, “Safety is a top priority for Amazon and we require all products offered in our store to comply with applicable laws and regulations. We have industry-leading tools to prevent genuinely unsafe products being listed and we monitor our stores for genuine product safety concerns.”

There is, of course, a lot more that goes into selling Amazon driver piss on Amazon, so head over to Vice to read the whole thing for yourself. Or just to see the design they came up with for Release Energy. We promise it won’t disappoint.

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