Ever since I can remember Solo cups have been used for any type of social event, from my family reunions, with my twelve 10 year old cousins, to the tailgates with Penn State Alumni’s. They serve one purpose–to hold your beverage– but, depending on your age and the social event happening, the functions behind the “red Solo cup” change. So, why is it that we always choose red Solo cups? Is there more to that red Solo cup that you don’t know about?
First, a bit of background history on where the brand comes from. The actual name of this phenomenon is the Solo Cup Company . It was founded in the mid-1930’s but, wasn’t until the 1970’s that the red Solo cup came to America and changed the way we thought of disposable dishware. Solo has other products but, by far the red Solo cup remains the most distinguishable product that the company has yet to produce. Solo has no real reason of why they chose to make their cups red. However, it’s a nice color that has no bias towards women or men (which is always helpful now-a-days). They have alternative colors available as well, but on their website (above) they offer only red and blue Solo cups. As the cup became more popular, changes were made to the mechanics so that the user had full benefits. For example, the cup changed its bottom to a more square size for stability and they added more dimension to the outside so that there is more grip.
Back to the original question of: why do we chose Solo cups and not some other brand? Rebecca Bikoff, a brand manager at Solo, organized a focus group where participants were handed Solo cups and observed. The results were fascinating. Each individual was seen smiling or exempting positive behavior. The reason why this occurred is simple. People have been using Solo cups for events that usually celebrate a high point in life. Which means that there is an emotion attached to the cups. An association of celebration/making memories is something that the Solo company’s brand strives to be a part of. The plastic that the Solo uses is more eco-friendly than most other disposable dishware companies. There is also the psychological part that having red Solo cups at a party is a social norm. Having a red Solo cup in your hand also gives one a sense of belonging. By this, I mean that you were at this party and experienced the dancing, singing, laughing and all of the craziness that occurred. Especially in this time of my life, Solo cups are used for numerous drinking games (flip cup, beer pong, etc.) Another reason of why Solo cups are the bee’s knees is because of country star, Toby Keith.
The entirety of this song talks about Keith’s love for partying with red Solo cups. The song starts with how he uses them at a variety of events to how drinking from a glass is heinous. Then, the country star sings about how they are affordable and decomposable (after 14 years). The chorus restates his love for the cups and the need to party. Keith also talks about how he loves the shape of the cups but, dislikes the very flimsy material when it cracks and spills his drink. By the end of the song, you would think Keith and red Solo cup are best friends. His love and devotion to this party necessity is not only priceless but truly sincere. I have always wondered what his wife thought of all this…
If you are throwing any kind of get together and don’t have red Solo cups, you should probably reschedule until you can run to the closest jiffy store and grab some (I paid $4 for a 12 pack the other night at Fresh-N-Fill). Give people the party they deserve by providing them with the cups they deserve.
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