PepsiCo’s Amp app: Attract niche communities, but don’t alienate others

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The social web is all abuzz today about PepsiCo’s iPhone app for its new Amp Energy Drink: Amp Up Before You Score. The app breaks down women into 24 categories from the Goth Girl to the Foreign Exchange Student to Twins. You can then drill down into tips and pick up lines to help land your conquest. The app also includes directions to nearby motels and the ability to brag about your “scores” on Twitter and Facebook.

The “Rebound Girl” on Amp Energy’s Amp Up Before You Go app

As a woman, am I completely offended? Absolutely. However, I am confident that PepsiCo knew that I would be (along with 99% of other women, and probably a large percentage of men) and took the risk anyway. After all, the app has attracted dozens of blog posts already and is a top 10 trending topic on Twitter. As we’ve explored on CisionBlog before, like it or not, outrageous actions get attention.

Certainly the app has attracted attention, but are they alienating other potential Amp Energy drinkers? Your community may not always be who you think. On Friday, I am moderating a panel on Bullseye Marketing at BlogWorld and New Media Expo. One of the panelists is Valorie Luther, principal of Creative Concepts, which represents Bigelow Tea. In discussing our panel, Valorie mentioned that Bigelow was surprised to find that their target community was much broader than they originally envisioned. Instead of the traditional demographic of women ages 40-65, Bigelow Tea also gained younger fans, male fans and more.

While the social web is a great place to target niche communities, it is important to keep in mind that most information on the web is not private and others will be seeing how you are interacting with your community. If that interaction is offensive, expect a response. Not all buzz is good buzz.

Personally, I can tell you that when I have an intense work day or a long road trip, I drink a heck of a lot of Red Bull. And now I can also tell you that I will never have an Amp Energy drink.

Tags : social media

About Heidi Sullivan

One of PRWeek’s 40 under 40 in 2012, Heidi Sullivan is Senior Vice President of Digital Content for Cision and a self-proclaimed social media metrics nerd. She leads the company’s digital and broadcast content teams, the global research team for Cision’s media database, Cision’s social media community team and the company’s content marketing strategy. You can find her on Twitter @hksully.

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