Pepsi, a company that usually gets it, does not get it when it comes to location based applications. After doing something brilliant by partnering with Foursquare as their exclusive non-alcoholic beverage partner in crime, the company has gone and launched the application ‘Pepsi Loot’, an exercise in futility.
Just what is this new iPhone app that bears Pepsi’s name, and what does it do? Well, it’s Foursquare, for Pepsi. Yep, you fire up the app and check-in at locations that sell Pepsi. Check in three and get a free song download. Please. Nothing could be less cool than pulling out your iPhone in front of your friends and instead of firing up a real application (Loopt, Foursquare, Gowalla, etc), use Pepsi Loot in an attempt to score free music.
Not only is it uncool, it lacks all the leg work that we have seen thus far from Foursquare: the actual tie-ins with restaurant. According to Mashable, “some restaurants will offer freebies to Pepsi Loot patrons.” So it’s Foursquare, minus the cool and built in incentives?
Free music works as an effective carrot for cash strapped tweens, hardly a huge market of smartphone users. Oh, and talk to your local tweens, see if they know Foursquare from Gizmodo.
Pepsi should drop Pepsi Loot and devote all that time, energy, and money into building up their position inside of Foursquare. After already pulling all the strings to become Foursquare’s non-booze best friend, why not actually capitalize on it? Pepsi and Foursquare could go a hell of a long way with Pepsi’s deep ties with tens of thousands of business locations around the United States, let alone the world.
Foursquare is a niche product. A Foursquare for Pepsi is just plain ridiculous. Let it go Pepsi, let it go.