Motrin Moms Fire Back Via Social Media

If there was only one piece of advice I could give to advertisers trying to reach moms, it would be this –

Don’t tell moms you understand them.

As Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman – Big Mistake.

Moms have a B.S. meter stronger than a beagle’s nose.   Anything that they deem inauthentic is going to get pummeled.  Note the emphasis on what they deem inauthentic.

In the world today – perception is reality.

So what did Motrin do that has so many moms in an uproar?

It’s a video on the Motrin site talking about moms who "wear" their young’uns.

As of this writing, the video is still on the Motrin Homepage.

Beth Dunn at Small Dots has a summary of some of the reactions.   She’s just one of dozens and dozens of blog posts lambasting Motrin.  You can check out the full force of moms’ reactions on Twitter.  You can even watch a video on Youtube.

The amazing thing about Social Media is that brands can get instant feedback from huge numbers of consumers about their brands and their advertising efforts.

As Wenda Harris Millard of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia said at a recent conference – "The Internet has given women a voice, and they’re screaming their heads off."

Right now the folks at Motrin may be wishing for earplugs.

There are all sorts of reasons why this ad missed the mark with women.  I think some of the reaction is a little harsh, but I see where Motrin went wrong.

Many women are challenging the whole premise of the ad.  But the delivery doesn’t help either.  The voice-over feels extremely inauthentic.  I just couldn’t imagine a woman really saying those words.

It also feels like Motrin is trying too hard.   It’s the danger I write of often – brands try to "tell" rather than "show" moms they understand them.    Women, especially moms, are super skeptical of this "we understand you" approach.

Many women on Twitter asked if these ads had been tested on the target audience. Some wondered how the idea even made it into production.   I’d be really curious to know if Motrin did test the ad.  Are there women who really like/related to the ad?   

Speak up readers – any of you like the ad?

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7 Responses to Motrin Moms Fire Back Via Social Media

  1. When my kids were in the baby and toddler stage, I found no end of things to feed guilty about, including whether or not I breastfed long enough, made babyfood from scratch, and…yes…carried the baby in a sling. Friends who did where vocal in their conviction for how nothing was more important to forge a bond with the child, make them feel safe, etc. Well, I have TMJ, a jaw disorder, and I just couldn’t carry my children on me; it was hard not to feel like I was short-changing my children. I wondered – should I put up with the pain for the safe of my child?
    Thus, I did identify with the commercial with respect to the child-mom trade-off that many mothers face. Should I do something for the benefit of my child, knowing that it will hurt me.
    However, I agree with you Holly that there is so much wrong with the commercial – the condescending, sarcastic tone, the copy (why did “bod” rub me the wrong way?), etc. They could have done a lot to present the child/mom pain dilemma in a kind, understanding manner, along the lines of “Sometimes as Moms, we can’t do it all”. But that’s just my 2 cents! 🙂

  2. trisha says:

    i think the whole thing is a waste of time…
    my opinion is blogged (of course)
    http://www.momdot.com/motrinmoms/
    trisha

  3. However, I agree with you Holly that there is so much wrong with the commercial – the condescending, sarcastic tone, the copy (why did “bod” rub me the wrong way?), etc. They could have done a lot to present the child/mom pain dilemma in a kind, understanding manner, along the lines of “Sometimes as Moms, we can’t do it all”. But that’s just my 2 cents! 🙂 – I totally agree.. 🙂

  4. Motrin says:

    I agree with all these mams!

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    My husband gave this to me for Mother’s Day this year. It’s a wodrneful collection of two discs full of stories and anecdotes, and they are all different enough from each other that listening does not get old. There were some segments I actually listened to twice. My favorite was probably Mother’s Day vs. Fishing Seaon Opener. Maybe that’s because I live in Minnesota, but I’m sure it has universal appeal. The segment Mementos Honor Sons Lost to War brought tears to my eyes, as did the story about the grandma with Alzheimer’s. There may have been a few segments that were not true driveway moments for me, but every single one of them was worth a listen. And a few of them have left pretty deep imprints in my mind. I recommend this collection!

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