An ad for the popular pain reliever Motrin has created a Twitter-style tempest among mommy and daddy microbloggers who find the ad patronizing and disrespectful. The ad from McNeil Consumer Healthcare and their agency (Taxi NYC) starts off by saying that while babywearing is fashionable right now, moms who wear their babies cry more than those who don’t. It also suggests that women wear their babies because it “makes them look like an official mom.” If I were a gamblin’ man I’d bet this copy was written by a room full of men after a few beers.
The most remarkable thing to watch has been less the reaction and more the medium by which the reaction traveled among moms and dads. It’s the Twitter effect and a clear example of the power of microblogging (You can follow the Twitter feed here.) As important as anything else was the fact that it took close to a day for Motrin to identify the gaffe and react.
While I expect to see this cautionary tale carried on for days to come in the MSM, the lesson for companies such as McNeil Consumer Healthcare is the importance of a defined and actionable social media strategy, especially surrounding provocative ad campaigns.
The ad has been pulled but you can find bits of it here at Small Dots - look at the bottom of the post.
Here are a couple of good links.
The Real Problem with the Motrin Ads by Peter Shankman
Motrin's Twitter Moment by Pistachio
Whisper to a Scream by WOM MOM
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