If you weren’t following what was happening online this weekend (yes, yes, ok you’ve got a life) there was a Groundswell against Motrin’s latest viral advertisement that was rejected by mothers in Twitter, spread to blogs, and YouTube. I’m not a mom, so at first glance I didn’t understand the offense, but apparently, it was condescending to moms who perceived wearing babies in a sling as ‘fashionable’ accessory, and who didn’t wanted to be labeled as an ‘official mom’. The original video, which was trying to lean on the light side, took to many generalizations with mothers and resulted in a revolt capped by this backlash video.
To learn more about the story, read Laura Fitton’s summary, Dave Knox of P&G is taking note, has made it to the NY Times Parenting Blog, and the VP of Marketing representing Motrin has apparently responded (I can’t confirm this). Update: Motrin has now apologized on their site (see screenshot below) and there’s MSM pickup by Scientific American and Computerworld (of all places)
As much as I’m interested in what folks are saying, allow me to provide an aspect that most others aren’t: short term numerical numbers. (it’s the analyst in me)
The Motrin Moms Backlash by the Numbers
I watch the twitter storm start on Saturday (thanks zsazsa), and watched it carry on through the weekend, I’ve taken snapshots of various analytics and social media tools now on Monday morning.
Above Screentshot: Twitter stats indicate bump in mentions of “motrin” and “motrinmoms”
Above Screentshot: 6,000 views on Youtube Video: Motrin Ad Makes Moms Mad
Conclusion: It’s not as bad as it looks…yet
In summary, there were some major blips in social networking tools like Twitter, (it was the top trending topic over the weekend, meaning many saw it that weren’t directly involved) however it’s not likely to cause enough of impact search engine results for “motrin”, be a mainstream press story, or cause damage to stock price.
Overtime, these search results may fade away, depending on how Motrin reacts, and how mothers decide to press the situation.
Although brand backlash certainly wasn’t intention, I’m sure that some at advertising firm who created the campaign will chalk this up as a success (it got influencers talking about the brand –who previously weren’t), although the PR group certainly has been dealing with this firestorm all weekend.
Always test your campaign with a small segment first Always have staff on hand to be prepared to respond during the weekend Don’t launch a campaign right before the weekend unless you’re prepared to respond The participants have the power, so participate For better or for worse, more influencers are talking about Motrin than ever before
I’d love to hear your comments on the fiasco, what short term and long term impacts does this have to the brand? Update: more stats from Freshtakes