Missing the point about Pepsi’s Before you Score App?

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Lots of vitriol being poured out about Pepsico’s AMP UP Before You Score branded app (see Twitter search results to the left) and this Mashable piece.

Most of the opinion (most of which is just people retweeting) is overwhelmingly negative, but then how many people of these people have actually tried it out?

I did, and this app has its tongue placed very firmly in its cheek. Would a branded app supporting a fairly bland energy drink have got this much coverage or attention if it didn’t pose as misogynistic?

Based on the branding of the product it’s pretty obviously male-targeted anyway . Maybe Pepsi should have been less obvious about their involvement (PepsiCo stated as the developer and copyright holder on the App Store page [screengrab]) but then that would have come out at some point anyway – their name is on the cans.

The criticism on Twitter, using the #pepsifail hashtag, in the reviews on the iTunes Store and in other places amounts to ‘Pepsi don’t want women to buy from them’. Some are calling it a fiasco. Just like Motrin moms and countless other ‘storm in a social teacup’ incidents, this will blow itself out before the end of the week. People (the mass market/general public) will be unaffected and life will go on as normal, but a lot more people will know what AMP is. Not quite the fail that the voices of protest wish it would be. More to the point the outrage is going to nothing more than fuel the popularity/notoriety of the effort.

Update: Mashable post on Pepsi’s apology for ‘bad taste’

5 thoughts on “Missing the point about Pepsi’s Before you Score App?”

  1. Charles,
    Good article. And yes I did install the App and read it. And despite the tongue in cheek nature, there will be a sizable group of women who are offended. Despite it's male targeting angering a big chunk of 51% of population isn't a good idea. I stand by my prediction that Amp will die a sudden death by year's end.

  2. They probably went a bit too far with it (the 'brag' feature is pretty pointless and really only there so they can say 'and we're hip to Facebook'). However I doubt it's going to result in so much bad karma that the brand is axed but stranger things have happened. Most interesting is following a #fail from the very beginning, watching people try to make it trend, which it doesn't appear to have done so thus far. It will only become a major issue if mass media pick it up.

  3. Yeah I get it: guys don't know how to talk to girls. Yeah Pepsi gets some free buzz for a drink most of us never heard of. But, no, you do not get to talk ABOUT women that way in 2009. You don't get to “score” and “brag” publicly about it, courtesy of a Fortune 500 that has a female CEO and a largely female customer base. (Who buys the groceries in most households? Say, like the Quaker Oats and the Tropicana, Pepsi products?) When you sponsor a social media event like BlogHer and tout your social responsibility on your web site, then, no, you don't get to write it off like a cute stunt that went too far from one of your sub-brand marketing departments. The apology was even more insulting. “Dude, sorry if it offended you or something. Like, whatever!” Grow up Pepsi or watch people like me make this a very, very loud problem. And we can, believe me. We GIRLS are in the media lately, or hadn't you noticed?

  4. What it says to me is that women and gay men don't count. They don't even exist as consumers.
    The app is offensive and it's naff.
    I am so angry about this app I'll never buy Pepsi again.

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