You might have heard about the recent uproar over a new Motrin ad targeting mothers. If you have already formed an opinion on the topic, skip the video below.
Otherwise, take a look, and try to be as objective as possible.
Paul Banas estimated that in 48 hours the Motrin ad resulted in:
- Over 100,000 views on YouTube for both their ad, along with all the video blog responses to their ad
- Number 1 (motrin) and Number 2 (motrinmoms) topic trends on Twitter, according to Twitter Search.
- Over 8,000 individual blog posts about the ad and Motrin itself according to Technorati.
While the responses have ranged from “who cares?” to “boycott Motrin!” most of the buzz has been negative:
Motrin Makes Moms Mad, is a simple video montage of Twitter quotes and images of mothers and their babies in slings:
In A Motrin Mom Mob? Beverley Cornell takes a different view:
The way I see it, the purpose of the ad was to help the average mom who has back pain. If you don’t like it don’t buy it – why badmouth the product so viciously? No moms or babies were hurt in the making of the commercial.
What I don’t understand is where are all these caring, united voices are when talking about education, poverty, the economy and other topics that have far more impact and can truly make a difference for themselves and their children’s lives? And such outrage, as is it now expected for companies to have a 24-7 monitoring presence, even on weekends, for everything, and then get told “they’re not listening” when they’re probably taking care of their families on a Saturday or Sunday?
Ultimately, the power of social media can be good, bad, or in this case even ugly. Whichever way you dice it …everyone is talking about Motrin around the water cooler today.
I ask you this…what should we really be mobilizing for or against today?
As of yesterday morning, Motrin made the decision to pull the ads and made a public apology on their website.
The apology has been panned by many—most notably Seth Godin—for it’s formulaic and impersonal tone.
Lessons learned from the Motrin social media debacle
- Know your audience. If this ad was tested among mothers in social media circles, something went awry.
- You must be message responsible. There doesn’t seem to be a problem with the key message, but a few phrases in the script (“wearing your baby seems to be in fashion,” “supposedly, it’s a real bonding experience,” etc.) and the snarky delivery made for an ad that talked down to the target audience.
- Get real or go home. To many, the ad and apology lacked authenticity—the attempt to create a personal tone felt forced, or worse, fake.
- The discussion will happen, with our without you. For most companies, participation in social media is no longer optional.
- Social media is 24/7/365. Conversations don’t just happen during business hours. This brouhaha exploded before Motrin had a chance to respond.
- In social media, the mob rules. There’s already a long list of brands that have been punk’d by social media.
So, did you find the ad offensive? Why or why not?
Can Motrin redeem itself? How?
Comment below to share.