Sunday, November 16, 2008

Moms vs Motrin Noise Level on Twitter Still Tracking at #1!

Added on November 21st: Thank you Motrin, you heard us, your response reveals your commitment to your consumers and it is appreciated! #Motrinmoms continues to be #1 topic on social networking site TWITTER, check out the commotion @ If you haven't heard the outcry of angered mom-bloggers and many other groups of tweople on Twitter, the social network site, check out Social Networking Site The subject "#Motrinmoms" or "Motrin" has been trending high for about 24 hours now. With many other headlines in the news why is the recent Motrin on line ad receiving such a negative response? It was not a well thought out campaign and foray into online marketing. The following points are my thoughts and perspective on this specific ad campaign:
  1. Whether intended or not, it managed to insult the targeted demographic.
  2. Sweeping assumptions and labels about motherhood are not appealing.
  3. It appears as thought they did not use a well chosen focus group to gauge reaction to the ad.
  4. It made this reader feel the company slapped a "MOM" label on the ad, and hoped that it would have mothers flocking to it without reading the content.
While I'm sure McNeil, Johnson & Johnson and Taxi obviously were not aiming to slam babywearing moms, or moms in general, it is safe for this mom to say the immediate, negative ripple effect this Ad created is not what they intended, or had hoped for. The huge "MISS"takecould have been avoided. The concept was great... Motrin "feels the pain" of motherhood, it could have been a such a huge hit, it had many GREAT components:
  1. The "momologue" is a COOL concept, a great application in keeping with the big surge in on line marketing via the social networking channel.
  2. The visual and voiceover narrator - very good
  3. The underlying message was smart, showing empathy for your consumer is smart, they simply missed the mark on what a mother would share about, or appreciate the comany showing empathy for.
So what killed the ad? In my opinion the content killed the ad's potential to be a huge hit. One has to ask themselves what is a GIANT like Johnson & Johnson doing, approving an ad with such short sighted research. Under what circumstances would any executive think calling a staple piece of baby gear like the baby sling/snuggli, etc, an ACCESORY to motherhood? What creative director said, "yea - without wearing one of those mom accesories, she would practically lose her identity as a mom." The other key mistake , alienating the other side of the equation, the MOMS that choose (for whatever their reason) not to use a sling during those years of parenting, are they somehow not a mom because of that? So now, the many moms who support babywearing and the moms who didn't wear there babies during the early years have been alienated by this ad. Who exactly were they trying to reach? Anyone would agree their is pain involved in parenthood/motherhood, but the point is - the majority of moms take the pain in stride, along with the territory, because it is all worth it. Sad the ad didn't say, "we know you moms don't think of the pain, we just want to help make the load you carry a little lighter...," or something along that line. I just don't get it? Personally, I am a mom who stayed home for many years and also worked outside of the house while raising my children. I do wear heels, now I do work in a professional environment outside of my home and I did use a "front pack" snuggli throughout my years with young children. One wouldn't label me "granola" or "all work" or most of the other numerous socio demographic labels. I am an average mom, with plenty of experience in marketing and sales; a mom that, for the life of me, cannot figure out how such a big hitter, swung hard and yet, struck out - big time. Corporate America listen to the ripple on the blogs, tune it to web sights like twitter, for all the dollars spent on polls, phone and direct marketing campaigns, inserts in magazines, air time on network tv, you are missing out on a virtual endless source of input riht here on the net; the bloggers and social network sights ( where in 20 seconds I can voice my opinion and in 20 seconds you can see my opinion. If you choose, you can connect directly to me, 1 on 1 with your consumer. I would suggest you invest in search engines that pick up what people are talking about, and most importantly what your consumers are saying about your product. Better yet, go to, where you can hire moms to market to moms! The recent upheavel about Motrin on is a compelling example in support of social network marketing at the corporate level. Furthermore, it is a great example of the power of the consumer. That grass roots ripple effect that happens when many people unite in voice and message. The recent posts from the many mom blogs were heard far and wide, what corporation doesn't want their message heard instantly across the country, and the bonus, all of that with a very low overhead. Imagine the return on your investment! From my perspective this Ad campaign, from the story board to execution, and how it missed the mark will soon be a MBA 101 case study on why content makes or breaks a campaign. Two respected bloggers that represent a portion of the outcry and their posts regarding this ad:


Ginger said...

As I said earlier, there are others issues such as women leaving their kids on NEbraska's doorsteps, Congo women being raped, killed, beaten, little girls being sexually abused and kidnapped for sex slavery but you're mad because Motrin said without a sling you're not a Mom.

The ad was not executed well but why the outrage? I think the ad unintentionally plays on insecurities women have around being moms and said what many already think.

Why motrin gets more outrage than other world issues affecting women is beyond me but perhaps too deep for this shallow outrage.

Jessica said...

I agree, ginger, that more attention needs to be paid to the issues affecting people globally. Unfortunately, we don't see a whole lot of information about that on mainstream media though. And that's sad. The Motrin ad was front and center and while it may or may not be true that Motrin's mamalogue said what many already think, they overstepped the line when they TOLD moms that this is what they think.

So with that said, if there is a video, a website, or an organization that the mommy blogger community can and should embrace, then let us know. But don't shame us because we're passionate about how we raise our kids and defending our practices. As moms, we're all on the same team. So, yes, I agree, let's use this huge power we have to make a difference globally too. I'm all for it.