Motrin Ad Campaign: A Social Media Case Study

Johnson and Johnson company, Motrin, a maker of pain relief medication released an ad campaign that has received a lot of backlash. The video titled “Wear My Baby” seemed to have missed Motrin’s target audience, which is moms. Outraged moms took to Twitter with the hashtags #motrin and #motrinmoms voicing their opinions about the video.

Here is a transcript of the video that was later taken down because of the controversy:

Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion. I mean, in theory it’s a great idea. There’s the front baby carrier, sling, schwing, wrap, pouch. And who knows what else they’ve come up with. Wear your baby on your side, your front, go hands free. Supposedly it’s a real bonding experience. They say that babies carried close to the body tend to cry less than others. But what about me? Do moms that wear their babies cry more than those who don’t? I sure do! These things put a ton of strain on your back, your neck, your shoulders. Did I mention your back? I mean, I’ll put up with the pain because it’s a good kind of pain; it’s for my kid. Plus, it totally makes me look like an official mom. And so if I look tired and crazy, people will understand why.

The real blunder for Jonson and Jonson was that the video was posted on a social media platform where people can instantly respond and give their feedback to the message. There was room for some controversy, but the social media aspect spiraled it out of proportion. How should a company respond to an issue like this? They could respond on social media with an apology. In any case, their response is critical to the retention of the customer base.

The following is the statement that was issued by their VP of Marketing:

I am the Vice President of Marketing for McNeil Consumer Healthcare. I have responsibility for the Motrin Brand, and am responding to concerns about recent advertising on our website. I am, myself, a mom of 3 daughters.

We certainly did not mean to offend moms through our advertising. Instead, we had intended to demonstrate genuine sympathy and appreciation for all that parents do for their babies. We believe deeply that moms know best and we sincerely apologize for disappointing you. Please know that we take your feedback seriously and will take swift action with regard to this ad. We are in process of removing it from our website. It will take longer, unfortunately, for it to be removed from magazine print as it is currently on newstands and in distribution.

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