Motrin ran into a bit of trouble with their new ad campaign this weekend. They did a nice job with the creative, the script is tight and the animation in the video itself is pretty well done but there was just one *minor* problem. Their message angered their primary target audience: Moms!
Basically, their campaign is centered around the premise that “wearing babies” (carrying i.e. BabyBjörn style) can be, well, a pain – in the neck, shoulders, lower back, etc.
Angry moms flocked to sound off via social media, including:
- Facebook: Babywearing isn’t painful. Boycott Motrin for saying it is. (Group is 487 and growing.)
- Twitter: #MotrinMoms
- Flickr: Baby-wearers Unite! Dear Motrin, you’re doing it wrong.
- YouTube: Anti Motrin Reply Re: Motrin Babywearing Ad #motrinmoms
- And, of course, the blogs.
The negative response has been overwhelming. An organized protest effort has emerged urging Motrin to take the ads off their website and put a stop to the print campaign. Many indicated that they went to Motrin’s website to email their thoughts and feedback. According to one blogger, a Motrin marketing VP (McNeil Consumer Healthcare) responded via email. I attempted to visit it, as well, but http://www.motrin.com wasn’t loading. Either they pulled the whole site down or massive traffic crashed their servers.
Now, before one jumps to the incorrect conclusion that the Internet is to blame for this backlash, let’s take a step back and not condemn the medium. Fundamentally, Motrin just missed the mark here and instead of phone calls and letter writing, consumers simply chose to voice their concerns online. Hopefully, Motrin will learn some valuable lessons from this and attempt to engage their critics in the same venue. There is an opportunity to remedy the situation by reaching out to key influencers in the “MomBlog” universe, build relationships, form focus groups and solicit their ideas to avoid future missteps.
In the meantime, I imagine that Motrin executives will require extra doses of their own product for the next few weeks.
Originally posted on WE’s Studio D blog, “Thinkers & Doers.”