In what one might call a PR attempt back in October, PepsiCo tried to promote their new energy drink, Amp, through the release of a new iPhone application called “Amp Up Before You Score.” The premise of the application was a program that would help men up their game as they tried to “score” with women. Here’s out it worked:
“1. Identify Her Type
Got your eye on a girl, and aren’t sure how to get started? Pick out her profile, flip the card, and study up quick with a cheatsheet on the stuff she’s into, with lists, links and some surefire opening lines. (Surefire to what, we won’t say.)
2. Keep a List
Get lucky? Add her to your Brag List. You can include a name, date and whatever details you remember.
You got it? Flaunt it. Keep your buddies in the loop on email, Facebook or Twitter.
Here’s who you get:
Foreign Exchange Student
Indie Rock Girl
Punk Rock Girl
Women’s Studies Major”
Needless to say, this immediately caused blog storm by females who were insulted by the insensitivity to women. Giving guys tips on how to “score” with women and then brag about it on Twitter is, needless to say, utterly revolting. To women, at least. Maybe there were several jerk guys out there who were very excited about this app, but clearly PepsiCo was thinking about only one of its publics and ignoring the others. The blog storm continued to roll, so PepsiCo tweeted an apology saying:
“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.”
Not too bad of an apology, I would say. They acknowledged that their app might have been in bad taste and thanked everyone for their feedback. For whatever reason, they did not remove the app immediately after they tweeted this apology. As people were still blogging about it, PepsiCo realized that they needed to get rid of the app altogether and had it removed from the app store. The fuss quieted down after this, and PepsiCo got back to work trying to find a more appropriate way to promote their drink.
So while I am quite disappointed with PepsiCo’s initial PR attempt, I must say their response to their little crisis was quite effective and they pulled some pretty good PR. In the end though, it was a lose-lose situation, as PepsiCo did not get the response it wanted, and girls are probably still seething over the whole issue.