iPhone Pickup App: Good or Bad for Pepsi (or You)?

by Michael on October 14, 2009 · 0 comments

If you’re ‘Net connected at all, by now you’ve heard about the “Amp Up Before You Score” iPhone app, which offers opening lines (and much, much more) for picking up theoretically gullible women. You’ve heard the outrage, seen the #pepsifail hashtag on Twitter, and maybe even read the apology.

Well, if you haven’t, first see the app in action (considering the vid is still in action when you get here):

It’s pretty funny stuff. And obviously Pepsi (or more appropriately, the edgier Amp energy drink division) thought so too. But as these things go when a major corporation is behind them, there are some elements who are outraged — outraged! — that men apparently are being encouraged to “score.”

I’m not sure what they’re afraid of. Anyone using the pickup lines in “Amp Up Before You Score” with a straight face is likely to be laughed out of the park/coffee shop/frat party. And if you have to call up a Wikipedia article on punk rock to know what it is, you’re not going to make points with that chick with all the hardware in her face anyway. The makers of the app kind of know this, and subtly communicate it to you, in ways like the line for the Businesswoman: “Do you like to roleplay? Because I can pretend I still have a job.”


Mind you, there’s a lot of creativity here: the app hooks into Wikipedia, Twitter, Top 10 lists, motivational quotes and more to give you ammo to hold a conversation. Maybe that’s the fear. There’s also a “brag” function that lets you update your Twitter or Facebook status or send an e-mail about your conquest, and that might take things out of the realm of self-amusement.

But “Amp Up Before You Score” isn’t going to give you the magic ability to lean over and kiss her, or the secret code to get her home with you. No, to actually “score,” you have to put down the iPhone and actually use your charm, intelligence and confidence.

So the critics should simmer down. It definitely is kind of fun, in a humorous icebreaker kind of way. In the right circumstances, I could see walking up to a woman, holding the iPhone about six inches from my face and reading in a monotone: “I feel like your cell phone. You are pressing all my buttons.” You could even use the app as an opinion opener: “What do you think of this? Would you fall for this line?” (The answer to the latter question is likely to be “no,” because most of the lines they’ve thought up are Lame with a capital “L,” but you can move on from there, delete the app in front of her and use your own talents.)

The Bottom Line

To actually meet and seduce women you’ll probably do better without “Amp Up Before You Score,” just like you can do without the other 100 or so “pickup line” apps in the iTunes App Store, but it’s free and mildly amusing. Just don’t accidentally tweet that you’ve “scored” if that new girl you like is on your follower list.

As for how Pepsi will score, the angry will always bark loudest. In the realm of things this is small potatoes, and it’s not as if women don’t secretly deal in their own stereotypical, gender-based humor: why else would Couples Retreat be the number one movie right now?

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