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 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.


kdpiper said...

I googled the ad, and I found Pepsi's "twittered" (tweeted?) apology:
Our app tried 2 show the humorous lengths guys go 2 pick up women. We apologize if it’s in bad taste & appreciate your feedback. #pepsifail

Reading this apology reminded of Greg Howard's article in the Greyhound last year in which he essentially satirized Loyola's "hook up culture". Greg maintained that the article was entirely in good humor and not meant to be offensive to women, yet many students still took offense to it. I understand the phrase "people need to learn to take a joke", but where can you draw the line between humorous and harsh? I still cannot decide if I find the Pepsi app amusing or offensive. These stereotypes and their descriptions, such as the Rebound Girl, the Women's Studies Major, and the Cougar, are so ridiculous that they are obviously meant to be funny, but does that make it right?

Stevie said...

I definitely agree that this new ap is tasteless and I'm actually surprised that Pepsi would be okay with advertising it. However, I would be very interested to see the results in sales after this ap was released. Even if Pepsi customers do not like this ap I find it hard to believe that it would stop them from buying Pepsi products.

Virginia said...

I think that this app is quiet amusing. I'm not offended, although I can see why some women might be. I even went so far as to try and download this app because I was curious about the tips Pepsi was providing for men, and I was also curious as to what category I fell into. I have an iTouch so I thought I would be able to download this app, but alas, it's only available for iPhone users. I think the app is funny, I really don't think it was at all meant to be a serious.

Daniel said...

I personally don’t think that this Iphone app by Pepsi needs all this fuss. I think it is harmless entertain application that may casts generalization, but I don’t believe there are any real negatives. In fact, the application is encouraging fraternization with all different types of women. There are some new advertising applications, which I think may be a little a better at getting a customer to use the product. These are the GAP app( ) and the Target app ( Both create a phenomenal way for consumers to interact with the brand. The Target app was given poor ratings, but I think it was judged a little too harshly. In any light, this new form of 'app advertising' will definitely have a huge effect on the market.