What A Backache

There are times when a brand misses its cue. Sometimes it’s worse than that. Sometimes the brand offends. That’s what happened when Motrin (whose site is down at this time) ran an ad that offended, of all people, moms.

You don’t want to get moms mad. Look what happened to drunk drivers.
Here’s but one of many responses to the ad emerging from the ether:

NOTE: YouTube user, instinctparenting, disabled the embed feature, but her video is still available on YouTube.
Andy Beal says Motrin should follow his steps for apologizing: be sincere, be transparent, and be consistent.

Motrin needs to quickly apologize–before this reaches the mainstream media–and then do some damage control–perhaps find the most vocal detractors and bring them on board to quickly story-board an alternative video.
What can the rest of us learn from this? Never assume you know your target audience.

It appears that the brand is using MotrinMoms on Twitter to do outreach and handle this pr crisis. Twitter user, Katja Presnal, a Social Media Marketing consultant in the middle of this fray, received an email just minutes ago from Vice President of Marketing for McNeil Consumer Healthcare saying, “they didn’t mean to offend moms.”
p.s. Then there’s this unrelated oddity.
[UPDATE] I like these fast breaking stories, but they’re hard to get right. Apparently, MotrinMoms on Twitter is not a spokesperson for the brand, but a “mom who loves her Motrin.”
[MONDAY UPDATE] Motrin.com is back online. Exhibit A:
acknowledgment_motric.jpg

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.