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You Might Get a Headache from Social Media

Posted on : 18-11-2008 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Brands, Social Media

Tags: , ,

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How effective is your company listening to social media?  Do you have the ability to respond quickly and effectively within the space.  Everyone knows my story on Twitter, so I will not go into that here.  But one thing I have always said is the true ROI for being involved in social media is the cost for not being involved.  Over the past few days a story began to unfold regarding a brand many of us have used (although based on what I have seen, many will not use going forward).  The brand is Motrin.  Lets watch a little of this headache unfold:

It all started with this ad campaign (you can provide your own adjectives). I think Peggy Olson (Mad Men) would have told Donald Draper no on this one! 

 

 

That was the beginning of the headache for the maker of Motrin, McNeil Consumer Healthcare (A division of Johnson and Johnson).  As I have stated before, one of the reasons Twitter is a good place for business is news starts in places like that or online forums.  From there it usually spreads to other sources such as blogs, or in this case You Tube.  Eventually the information finds its way to traditional media.  Well this is just one of those stories.  So after the ad campaign began, let the tweets and the headache begin.  Here is an image of the website:

 

Moms began to tweet about the offensive nature of the ad.  These mom’s made it clear that it is not a pain to hold their child close to them and they love to do it.  So this ad was truly backfiring on them and they did not know it, at least until someone decided to build the video.  Instead of rebuilding all the tweets, check out the You Tube video created:

 

 

This started numerous blog posts on the topic.  Check out Google Blogsearch, Twitter Search, or a search of You Tube.  This caused a large hit to the brand that will show in search results for a long time to come.  Now at this time the company has posted an apology on the Motrin website:

 

 

There are a number of lessons for brands.

  1. Common Sense Marketing - First and foremost use common sense in advertising.  I am not a marketing person, but I could see this one coming the moment I saw the ad.
  2. Listening in Social Media – Listen to spaces such as Twitter because it will give you a heads up very early and hopefully respond before there is a video and numerous blog entries such as this one.
  3. Engagement – If you had individuals already in spaces like Twitter, reaching out at the time of the initial tweets may have prevented this (although no guarantee).  It at least would have made it so some of the individuals would have known the brand was listening.  I will write a post soon on engagement by companies! 
  4. Rapid Response Culture – Create a rapid response culture that would allow this to be escalated to the right people and decisions made immediately.

I would like to thank the Moms on Twitter for sharing the story – I have become friends with many of you and I appreciate all the hard work you do.  I also found the blog posts from David Armano and Pete Blackshaw very helpful (as always)

Comments (4)

I thought that this was a great ad.

My mother liked it as well.

There’s too many whiney people with too much time on their hands.

Ah, the power of m.o.m.–a force to be reckoned with! “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”? Triple it when it involves a mama and her babies.

Good summary of the fiasco, I imagine there are many with headaches today.

(BTW, I’m a first time visitor having recently followed you on twitter…and I DON’T know your story! Is there a post you can link to with that line above, so I can get up to speed?)

[...] Time to be Frank » You Might Get a Headache from Social Media. Written by marshal in: Uncategorized | [...]

This reminds me of what happened to Kryptonite, the bike lock company, which, up to now, was probably the most classic example of the power of CGM to effect change. At least Kryptonite learned from the experience. Remains to be seen whether McNeil will…or the ton of other companies who’ve yet to pay attention to the social mediasphere.

Great post Frank. I’m glad you weighed in.

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