Motrin Moms Viral Video

Okay so if you haven’t heard, (and if you are on social networking sites…chances are you have) there was a HUGE uproar about the online video by Motrin about “wearing your baby”. Which, to be frank, was a lame online video campaign to begin with. The problem was the video made the mistake of pissing off one of the most vocal communities online – Mom’s using social networking. This also happens to be the demographic the video was targeted at.

Just to be clear – I’m not siding with Motrin. Nor am I dissing the social networking juggernaut that is the collective community of Mother’s online. The video itself wasn’t anything breathtaking and may have been marginally condescending – I’ll give it that much. You can watch it below to form your own opinion:

Pretty dumb, right? Let’s be honest. The phrase “It totally makes me look like an official mom”…come on. I doubt there is a mom out there that wears her baby in a Bjorn carrier because all the other cool mom’s are doing it.

But all this blogging and Twitter conversation, with a very small amount being negative, is getting people talking about Motrin. What their ad campaign did was create a truly great viral marketing video. People are talking about their campaign although there are a small group who are angry about it, the vast amount of comments I read on Twitter just called it dumb or criticized Motrin for generally not connecting with their demographic. There were many complimenting it too. Think about it…when was the last time you had a conversation about a pain reliever or an ad campaign by one?

Here’s where Motrin really fell on their face with this campaign. Their first reaction when this small amount of negative feedback started trickling in? They pulled the site down that was hosting the video. That’s right…so the video finally generated some buzz about their product after it had been up for over a month with barely a blip on the radar and then they pulled the site down after a little negative feedback launched the video virally rather than trying to immediately put out the fire on their website with this group of social networking Moms who were offended or people who may just be curious about the video and to see what all the hub-bub was about. Brilliant.

Now that you already know you screwed up, why not engage the demographic you insulted and open up conversation? Don’t run and hide…engage.

Now that they’ve acknowledged they made a mistake, what they really need to do is launch a social media rescue campaign. Start checking Google alerts and comment on as many of the Mommy blogs as possible, start a Facebook group to allow public discussion and get feedback on their solutions, connect with Moms on Twitter and come up with an offer especially targeted to those offended by the ad. While they’re at it, they should start a blog themselves and speak from the heart about what they were thinking.

So what’s the moral to this story? What Motrin should have done originally was to hire a team of Mom’s using social networking to get their opinion of what they would find funny and what would appeal to them. Listening is rule #1 of social networking and Motrin tried to skip that step. If you’re going to speak on behalf of any group of people, you should listen to what they have to say first.