Branding Gone Bad :: #PepsiFail

On October 12, 2009, in advertising, by Barbara Nixon


UPDATE @ end of this post

Did you see that Pepsi Co. has released an iPhone app for its Amp energy drink? It’s called … wait for it … Amp Up Before You Score.  (I intentionally did not link to the app, as I don’t want to drive traffic its way.)

In theory, having an app (not this one) for your brand could be smart, maybe even cool. But when you see what the app does, you may change your mind.

InventorSpot describes the offensive app in this way:

Here’s how it works:

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.

3. Brag: You got it? Flaunt it. Keep your buddies in the loop on email, Facebook or Twitter. Here’s who you get:

Artist Aspiring Actress Athlete Bookworm Businesswoman Celebrity Cougar Dancer Foreign Exchange Student Goth Girl Indie Rock Girl Married Military Girl Nerd Out-Of-Your-League Girl Political Girl Princess Punk Rock Girl Rebound Girl Sorority Girl Treehugger Trouble Twins Women’s Studies Major

If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, take a look at the app. And see what people are saying about “Amp Up Before You Score.” Make up your own mind about the app. But for me, I am disappointed in PepsiCo. I expected better from a company like this.

Put in Twitter terminology, it’s a major #PepsiFail.

[Hat tip to Liz Pullen for calling my attention to this iPhone app.]

UPDATE as of 3:00pm on October 12:

Just a few moments ago, the Twitter account for AMP (@AMPwhatsnext) posted an apology for the “Amp Up Before You Score” app. As far as 140-character apologies go, it’s a good one. I’ve already sent AMP my feedback.

AMP's Apology


15 Responses to Branding Gone Bad :: #PepsiFail

  1. Brian W says:

    Big mistake for Amp & Pepsi for sure.. Because of all the noise I can understand how the pressure to be creative and capture consumer attention is important, but an app to help these guys with self esteem would have been more beneficial to them..

    Being in the beverage industry, I can understand how hard it is to market today, but this is a #pepsifail indeed.

    Thanks for the post Barbara!

    Brian – Bebevco

  2. […] of the social media fiascoes that have occurred (including Disgusting Domino’s Employees, #PepsiFail and Motrin Moms) and the Mumbai […]

  3. […] 2009-10-12T11:32:05  Hate when behavior like this is promoted: Pepsi iphone app. PR = #Pepsifail [link to post] […]

  4. […] Branding BAD by Pepsi. How NOT to Brand Your Product: Objectifying women is so centuries ago: [link to post] […]

  5. […] 2009-10-12T10:49:28  Branding BAD by Pepsi. How NOT to Brand Your Product: Objectifying women is so centuries ago: [link to post] […]

  6. pinksocks says:

    However, there is a plus side to this for women: if a man is using this app to try and help him pick up chicks…they know to run far, far away and very, very quickly.

  7. […] 2009-10-12T08:40:28  @BarbaraNixon Thanks for Tweeting about insanely offensive & totally unacceptable Pepsi app: RT: Branding Gone Bad: [link to post] […]

  8. […] RT @BarbaraNixon You can find out how to Amp Up Before You Score . . . #PepsiFail [link to post] (Way to stay classy, […]

  9. […] 2009-10-12T07:21:16  @ikepigott What do you need to know today? You can find out how to Amp Up Before You Score . . . #PepsiFail [link to post] […]

  10. […] 2009-10-12T05:32:40  Bad, Pepsi…very, very bad… RT @BarbaraNixon: [Blog]: Branding Gone Bad :: #PepsiFail [link to post] […]

  11. […] @todayshow Have you seen this? RT @sheesidd: Reading Branding Gone Bad: #PepsiFail [link to post] by […]

  12. […] 2009-10-12T04:05:53  [Blog]: Branding Gone Bad :: #PepsiFail [link to post] […]

  13. Sheema says:

    I’m surprised that Pepsi would approve an app that is so clearly misogynistic- who’s idea was that? It’s worked for Lynx/Axe and other deodorants, and while its not right, those brands are targeted specifically for men so it works. Last time I checked, Pepsi (or Amp) was consumed by both men & women-and I don’t think any woman would appreciate being labeled “rebound girl.” Pepsi Fail indeed- I knew there was a reason I preferred Coke!

  14. […] 2009-10-12T04:03:05  .@MikeDavis88 Curious was your PR team was aware of Amp app before Pepsi @NASCAR race this weekend? #PepsiFail [link to post] […]