Over the weekend, there was quite a stir surrounding an ad campaign the Motrin people came up with, called the Mom-Alogue. It was geared toward “mommies on the move”; you’ve seen them toting kids around on their back or front in little papoose-style carriers. Heck, I even tried it when my daughter was an infant, but no one thought of courting me for a sale because of the pain in my back. Poor me? Please, who has time for a backache?! Not me and not a lot of other moms out there.
Speaking of sales, there are two common mantras, (1) Find out what is causing your customer pain and remove it, and (2) Put yourself in your customers shoes. The Motrin folks “win” on both of these counts, but “lose”on their execution-they let the blogosphere and social media frenzy go unchecked for too long; check the stats on Twitter and you’ll see page after page of complaints and rants. Wow, talk about the exposure!
There is no doubt the ad wizards for Motrin completely missed the mark with their messaging, but they also had on their hands possibly the BEST opportunity for damage control. They had an audience engaged and talking about them. Sadly, they took the weekend off like most businesses, and while they were away, what ensued is really nothing short of a sensation. Even today, the discussion is still wailing on, even though the Motrin site is actually down.
So why does this give me a headache? Because in midst of all of this, there are massive layoffs, earthquakes, fires and people are talking about a commercial campaign that is just like a lot of TV; sensationalization. The folks at Motrin have a terrific opporutunity to give a human touch to a situation like this. Reach out and share your under belly, then people will really believe you meant this campaign to be empathetic. Hide and apologize and you basically come off as the rest of the big companies in America right now: not worth our trust or our money.