Motrin’s New Media Disaster

Nov 17th, 2008 | By | Category: Internet TV, Video

Motrin has found itself in the middle of a new media disaster as a result of a heavy handed ad internet ad campaign campaign that makes fun of people that wear their babies in slings (above).

The narration takes a poke at moms (and dads) that wear baby slings – suggesting that they are akin to a fashion accessory:

Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion. I mean, in theory it’s a great idea. There’s the front baby carrier, sling, schwing, wrap, pouch. And who knows what else they’ve come up with. Wear your baby on your side, your front, go hands free. Supposedly, it’s a real bonding experience.

The video isn’t extremely offensive, but it’s unfunny and disrespectful of the audience it’s trying to target.

The result?

A lot of pissed-off parents. Parents that have tweeted about it, called for a boycott, and even created a response video.

Here’s a graph of Twitter mentions of “motrin” for the last few days:

Unfortunately for Motrin, nearly all the buzz is negative.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the maker of Motrin, has yanked the ad, but you can bet that something is in a sling at McNeil besides some cute babies.

Some may think that McNeil and Motrin are victims of a slow news day. But there’s more to it than that.

It still takes a certain amount of work to figure out blogging, podcasting, Twitter and Internet video, so new media is biased towards intelligent people with opinions – opinions that shape search engine results and shape mainstream views.

Companies that dumb down their messages, deliver messages that are straight BS or that mock their audience will find that things that may have worked in old media will backfire on the Internet.

If McNeil ran this ad in old media, a million people might see it, a few would find it annoying and that would be the end of it.

Offend people in new media, though, and you’ll find yourself Twittered about; you’ll find your company being ranted about in a podcast; or you may find your latest ad being torn apart in a response video on YouTube:

Motrin Ad Makes Moms Mad:

What do you think? I this much ado about nothing, or a classic case of a company’s “hip” marketing backfiring?

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2 Responses to “Motrin’s New Media Disaster”

  1. elainical says:

    I don’t know what’s worse, the lame ad or the fact that people spend their weekends bitching about this stuff!

  2. Kurt_eh says:

    There’s a public appology up at already.

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