My knee jerk reaction to the new Pepsi AMP iPhone app was pretty much like that of every other self declared feminist. Something along the lines of 'are you fucking kidding me?' with a lot of head shaking and some general crankiness. Then I sort of forgot about it - but twitter hasn't. Mashable, the social media guru, weighed in, and the #pepsifail hashtag was created. Pepsi has since offered an apology but they didn't pull the app. People, as per ewzh, are divided. For example, this jackass thinks that the reason I'm pissed off is because someone using the app would successfully pick me up:
@boozhetto just now seeing that Pepsi app on women.....seems like the furor over it is more a #truthhurts thing than a #pepsifail
To that I say - I'm pretty sure you're an asshole, but.. since the app is still available and free, why don't I download it and find out?
First things first. The app is actually called Amp Up B4 You Score. They certainly weren't pulling any punches, here. When you download it you have to accept an NC17 warning as well - I'm so excited! Let's get to the content, shall we?
To accurately assess if this would work on me, I'm going to have to decide which of the 24 available categories of women I would fall into, AND which of the 24 categories of women some dude in a bar would be likely to think I was based on nothing but looking at me. Let's see here...
I'm going to immediately eliminate twins, military chick, married, foreign exchange student, goth, cougar, and celebrity for obvious reasons. I'm also going to eliminate aspiring actress, athlete, dancer, nerd, political girl, princess, punk, sorority girl, rebound girl, and tree hugger. I'm dropping these because I think a) no guy would look at me and have one of these come to mind first and b) while I'm not going to read the pick up techniques, I doubt that ones written for these girls would work on me.
That leaves 7 types of women that may sum me up perfectly and allow some dude to get into my pants - assuming that's what 'score' means, here. I'm pretty sure Pepsi isn't making any effort to pretend otherwise.
Quick aside: the drawings of the stereotypes are actually kind of fun.
- Best pickup line: Come with me to a gallery.
- Worst pickup line: Tie between 'I'd love to sculpt you but it looks like God has already done a good job of that' and 'you know the Mona Lisa has no eyebrows... I wonder what else she shaves'.
- Additional pickup helpers: Quotes From Da Vinci, Art Movements You're Starting, and a local galleries finder.
- Best pickup line: I feel like everything before meeting you was perfunctory. (Pronunciation for 'perfunctory' is included, just in case).
- Worst pickup line: We could discuss the romantics or we could become them.
- Additional pickup helpers: Ideas for Your New Novel, Five Dubious Tolstoy Facts, Current Best Sellers (real time info), the locations of local libraries.
- Best pickup line: I'd put you at the top of my org chart.
- Worst pickup line: Wow, a bit like the credit crunch, I didn't see you coming and now I'm in trouble.
- Additional pickup helpers: Real time tweet tracker for the word 'economy', Fake Careers, Famous Economists, Bloggingstocks.
- Best pickup line: Tie between 'I'd trade my vintage concert t-shirt for your phone number' and 'aren't you in that one band from Brooklyn that's hot right now?'
- Worst pickup line: Can you believe all these hipsters?
- Additional pickup helpers: Indie News, Your Favorite Songs, Your Favorite Indie Blog, Best Albums of 2009 So Far, and a thrift store locator.
The only content for this one is Hail Mary Passes, which mostly seem to consist of insulting her. Smooth.
- Best pickup line: This rebel just found his cause.
- Worst pickup line: Tie between 'wow, Hell really does have angels' and 'You. Me. Vegas. NOW!'
- Additional pickup helpers: Plausible Warrants For Your Arrest, Why Don't You Have Any Tattoos?, FBI Most Wanted (real time), local tattoo shops locator.
- Best pickup line: N/A.
- Worst pickup line: Three way tie between 'if I were you I'd hate men too', 'I've always wished I could understand a woman's experience from the inside', and 'why do people say feminists aren't hot?'.
- Additional pickup helpers: a real time stream of tweets using the word 'feminism', What is Feminism?, and Your Favorite Singer.
This actually isn't as bad as I expected. If they'd put the same amount of work into it but had pitched it as a 'too shy to talk to women? let our app help!' solution I probably would have found parts of it charming. I'm not a huge fan of the fact that it encourages lying (see Fake Careers under Businesswoman), and the Hail Mary Passes are just stupid. Other than that, I am almost able to see it as an app that helps you find something to talk about with someone you don't know very well. To be honest, there is no bad there, and some of the things under Artist and Indie Girl would actually be valid ways to approach me in a bar. I wouldn't sleep with the guy who busted them out, but I might talk to him.
Sadly, all of this mild acceptability is invalidity by this:
Yes, the whole point of the app is to add each of the types to your 'brag list', and then share that list with all your buddies (and facebook friends, apparently, which could include family members and even the women you're bragging about). NAME and DATE? Really, Pepsi?
So, Mr. Boozhetto - the pepsifail is not about the truth hurting. The pepsifail is about scamming women into sleeping with you and then boasting about it.