Pepsi’s latest foray into social media is certainly bold and controversial, but does it go too far?
The company recently launched an iPhone application [iTunes link] for its AMP energy drink called “before you score,” with “score” meaning (to put it in the most subtle of terms) having a successful night with a woman.
Beyond the premise of the app being rather risqué, it’s when you drill down to the specifics that it becomes much more, breaking women down into 24 types and suggesting “lines” to lure each one of them. If “successful,” the app also encourages users to brag about it over email, or even on Facebook (Facebook) or Twitter (Twitter).
Now, guy-centric marketing is nothing new for AMP, who often promotes itself through male dominated extreme sports (formerly, it was known as Mountain Dew AMP). The ads are also somewhat reminiscent of AXE, who insinuates in much of their advertising that its products will help you with members of the opposite sex.
But that’s simply a (far-fetched, but whatever) product claim. Here, AMP has actually built features into its application that make it seem one can systematically “score” by exploiting women’s naivety. Beyond that, they actively encourage users to promote such conquests through social media.
Mind you, the app is obviously targeted for “dudes,” many of whom probably won’t have a problem with it, but many of the women who have caught wind of “before you score” clearly do (see the comments on Jezebel or YouTube (YouTube) for example).
Pepsi certainly seems on its way to creating a lot of buzz – but whether or not that buzz turns into something very negative and become a “what were you thinking?” social media fiasco is something to watch for. Meanwhile, let us know in the comments if you think this ad is clever marketing that appeals to AMP’s customers, or something that goes too far and could have big ramifications for AMP’s parent company.