Jessica Gottlieb is a smart and very busy woman. She writes 4 blogs, one on sustainability at Celsias as well as Green Options, pop culture at National Lampoon and her own blog about parenting. Yesterday, this busy woman saw an ad for Motrin pitched to new mothers that rubbed her the wrong way and a viral movement started. As Jessica states, a few hours and several tweets later, MotrinMoms is the #1 search on Twitter, eclipsing SNL for the first time since Obama was elected.
The campaign has certainly gone viral, but not in the way Motrin had expected. Katja Presnal, created a video on all the tweets that is getting lots of visibility on YouTube. She is also collecting links on her blog. There are currently over 50 blogs that have written about the #MotrinMoms controversy.
As Lucretia Pruitt states, pissing off your target audience is not a smart strategy. Jessica explains why the ad campaign had such a pronounced impact, “Don’t pick on the weak.
New mothers are fragile. Motrin has proven, irrevocably that they don’t understand that Mothers are the ones in the grocery stores. Mothers clip coupons and build brands with discussion. Mothers get together and uplift one another.
So when you pick on a few new mommies, you get all of us.
The #MotrinMoms of Twitter will never buy Motrin again. Babywearing is best for baby and companies that support our babies get our dollars.”
Laura Fitton blogs about the missed opportunity and how Motrin should have listened to its audience on Twitter, both before the campaign to understand their target audience and during the campaign to get a feel for customer’s reaction. They still have not responded on Twitter, any blogs or on any of the other social networks. Reputation Management guru, Andy Beal explains in his blog, Taking a look at the negative Twitter conversations surrounding #motrinmom demonstrates that Motrin is, in just a few short hours, facing a huge reputation disaster–initiated by the very audience Motrin hoped to target, “Mama Bloggers.”
This episode further supports the research that we recently completed that Twitter members want to engage in dialog with their brands. Just think how quickly this issue could have been addressed and resolved, if Motrin had first listened to its target audience and then engaged with them during the campaign. Instead, they’ve got a headache that will require something much stronger than Motrin to fix.
November 17th Update:
The Groundswell continues….It seems like everyone on Twitter has written a blog post. The VP of Marketing for McNeil Consumer Healthcare issued an apology on Katja’s blog. David Armano has an insightful post looking at the impact on Google search results and offers great advice to brands that may be faced with a similar situation. Jeremiah Owyang’s post demonstrates the impact that the Motrin controversy has had using Twitter analytics and shares lessons learned. It will be interesting to see if there is more response from Motrin today or the issue just blows over as some are predicting….Stay tuned.