Thursday, October 15, 2009
There's an app for that?
Pepsi seems to be catching some flak for an Apple iPhone app for its Amp Energy drink. The app is aimed at guys who want to pick up girls. A story was reported in the 10/14 issue of The Wall Street Journal that raised the criticism of the app because it is, well, tasteless. There was critical buzz on Twitter, and blogs like Adfreak.com regarding how the app objectifies women. Is Pepsi going to pull the plug on the app? Maybe and maybe not. At this time, it isn’t clear as I think they are measuring whether or not such product positioning and the accompanying critique actually helps the brand or whether public pressure will force them to withdraw the app. All of this--the app and the criticism--speaks to the issue of engagement. Multiple channels are at work here: there is the app, then there's the Twitter feed, then there's the blog response. Creating controversy is a means to activate consumers, and serves the role of making advertising more interesting, and by that I mean engaging.