Pepsi's new application in support of its AMP energy drink seems to be upsetting women... a lot of them. Maybe with good reason. The application, named "AMP Up Before You Score" is described on App Shopper as:
....a roadmap to success with your favorite kinds of women—24, in all. Is she an Artist? Quote some Picasso. Indie Rocker? Here are her favorite songs. Sorority Girl? Good thing you know the Greek alphabet. Know what makes her tick before you open your mouth, so she’ll like what she hears when you do.
Okay, so it's a goofy attempt at humor, an electronic pocket version of How To "Pick Up" Beautiful Women In Nightclubs. To fools like me, the app has a certain amount of appeal due to the hilarity it would cause if used in the real world. Yet, I can see where it could be interpreted as degrading to women. Yet, it's so goofy that it's hard to believe it's being taken seriously. First of all, if you're a guy who believes that this iPhone app will improve your ability to sleep with random women, I think that you might need therapy. If you're a woman offended by the objectification of women, where have you been over the last decade? Shouldn't there have been similar outcries over the portrayal of women in video games, on various websites, and by enterprises like “Girls Gone Wild" (GGW)? Strangely, GGW escapes damning criticism while Pepsi is threatened by boycotts. Pepsi's application pales in comparison on the degradation scale to the GGW empire, a fact that's apparent when the information provided by the app is scrutinized...
For instance, when chatting with a Punk Rocker, the application provides the history of Punk. When talking to a woman that's "way into being green," the app can find the nearest Vegan restaurant. And if by some miracle the application truly works, it will also find hotels. Then again, so will any GPS.
Ladies, it's designed to be stupid and goofy. One feature, the "brag" application, allows men to keep score of the number, and type, of women bagged via use of the app. It also allows this info to be shared with friends. I'd argue that touting that your phone got you laid just might be a sign that you're a loser.
The main issue with Pepsi stems from the application's caricatures of women: Nerd, Cougar, Aspiring Actress, Foreign Exchange Student, etc. The criticism's emanated from every possible source, on- and off-line. Some sites, such as Jezebel, has taken an ardent stance on the application, stating that it's part of "Bro" culture:
This is a program sponsored by a major corporation that encourages men to look at women as objects to be won, used, and tossed away after a "victory" is obtained, and the more normalized things like this become, the worse off we're all going to be.
Comments on the site range from boycotting Pepsi to asking for applications that enable women to detect "douche bags." The criticism has led to apologies from both Pepsi and AMP. One, released on Twitter, reads:
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.
The apology has been criticized as not being heartfelt or serious, and the application has not been recalled. I'd agree that it's more damaging than helpful.
Yet, the application is no different than articles in popular women's mags like Cosmo, such as Cosmo's Guide to Dating Mucho Men, "How Do I Casually Pickup a Guy?" and "How to Date Like a Man."
If you're concerned about not getting duped by a player with a cell phone, it's probably best to not have casual sex with anyone, which guarantees that no douche bags will ever get the best of you.