PartySmart: Could the infamous ‘hangover’ become extinct?
It’s a Sunday morning, you didn’t get back home until 3:30am, your head is banging, your throat is sore and to top it off, your mouth is dry. Later the fatigue will kick in, making it impossible to leave your bed. Welcome to the dreaded hangover. Now wouldn’t it be good if the infamous ‘hangover’ were to become extinct?
In an article from Anthropology & Medicine, Laurent Pordié delves into the introduction and marketing of polyherbal drug called PartySmart.
This drug purports to protect the liver and prevent alcohol-related hangovers. Established by The Himalaya Drug Company in India in 2005, PartySmart should be consumed thirty minutes prior to alcohol consumption to prevent symptoms such as headache, nausea, irritability and fatigue.
Local revellers in India were delighted with the drug, proclaiming how fresh they felt the morning after drinking: ‘We were fine, fresh and ready to go again ... we never forget to swallow this nifty little pill called PartySmart.’
That’s not to say there haven’t been headaches in marketing the product. Aggressively promoted in clubs and pubs, there’s been controversy over the portrayal of promoting alcohol consumption amongst the middle classes in such a devout region. Such is the stigma behind the moral and ethical issues of PartySmart (and therefore alcohol) consumption that CEO of The Himalaya Drug Company, went so far as to proclaim “Our message is ‘PartySmart was the outcome of some very good research out here, and they said ‘listen, we have this fantastic product that actually cures hangovers, why don’t we sell it?’ I said, yes let’s do it. The Chairman is very clear, he said ‘look, I don’t encourage drinking'.”
So how does a world specialist in hangover prevention, based in a country where the use of alcohol is disparaged, market such a controversial drug? Well, for a start, they revise their strategy heralding the product as ‘targeting liver disorders’, thus ridding themselves of the moral repercussions of alcohol consumption, make it available via prescription only and market it instead to pharmaceutical reps in India and abroad. Gone is the colourful packaging and easy availability replaced instead with simplified design and new slogan, in order to best demonstrate a reputable and effective polyherbal drug. This nifty tactic affords the drug’s marketability to biomedical practitioners who in turn provide credibility, securing a legitimate legacy for PartySmart.
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