Motrin recently created an online hulabaloo when a video intended for laughs instead raised the ire of its target audience: Mothers. "Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion," begins the female narrator of a 47-second spot. "I mean, in theory it's a great idea." And with a whiff of snark, she proceeds to itemize the sling-type products used by mothers to carry infants from place to place, then qualifies their popularity like this: "Supposedly it's a real bonding experience."
After implicating the trendy carriers for the back, neck and shoulder pain they supposedly cause, the narrator concedes the discomfort is worth it because babies cry less when held close to their mother's body and "it totally makes me look like an official mom." In a post at his blog, Michael Leis predicts that this "may go down as one of the most insulting single lines of script ever to be spoken."
Offended mothers took their complaints to Twitter, and a surprised Motrin quickly pulled the video from its Web site. In his detailed analysis of the situation, Leis suggests that if Motrin had used Twitter as effectively as its customers, it might have noticed that affluent people, unsettled by economic uncertainty, were in no mood to hear how they "need a pain reliever for the products that bring your baby closer to you."
Your Marketing Inspiration: Says Leis, "[I]t's important to look at factors outside the brand mentions. Especially in a dynamic platform like Twitter, the tools exist for you to dig beyond the mentions of a brand to understand the larger trends of perceptions and patterns audiences display in their social networking usage."
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