Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Motrin Learns: Hell Hath No Fury Like Baby-Wearing Moms

Note to self: when targeting an ad campaign after a specific demographic, try not to piss that demographic off with your ad campaign.

It sounds like a no-brainer, but apparently the makers and marketers at Motrin missed that memo. Instead, they put out this video that attempts to “relate” with mothers who use harnesses to carry their babies. The method is growing in popularity as it makes carrying a baby easier and allows for a stronger maternal bond. Motrin tried to attach their product to this.

They failed miserably. Here is a bootleg copy, just in case Motrin takes down the video.

The flaws in this video are too numerous to list, but it’s clear that the tone was wrong, the message was absurd, and the only possible result was an enraged group of former customers.

On Twitter, the conversations have been furious. As of the time of this post, #motrinmoms on Twitter has gone beyond the 1500 message archive limit in 12 hours, and there are several others going strong at #motrin, #motringate, and others. The vast majority of the responses have been negative.

The blog response hasn’t been any better. There have already been dozens of posts about it today. Some classic ones are listed at the bottom of this story. All are negative. The response hasn’t been good, but as someone who has not experienced baby-wearing, I decided to consult an expert.

To test the ad, I showed it to my wife, a mother of three who has been there, done that. I showed it to her with no prompting, no bias, just a “Hey honey, have you seen this?”

Her response at the 11 second mark: “Are you freakin’ kidding me? This must have been made by a man who was completely clueless about anything we go through.”

By the 15 second mark, her response became unprintable until the end when she asked, “What’s their next video going to say, that breast-feeding is a pain in the boob, so take Motrin? No way, I’m out. It’s generic Ibuprofen from now on.”

This video response says it all.

The message here is simple. In marketing (and just about every other aspect of life) be aware of the likely response before jamming your foot into your mouth and down your throat.

Original here

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