Motrin®: I’m Appalled

November 16th, 2008

Like most Moms, I don’t go organic and natural all the time. I do use conventional medicines, with Children’s Motrin® being a favorite for those times when our kids need it.

No longer. As a Mom, I am appalled at the new Motrin “MOM-ALOGUE” ad, which is offensive to Moms who choose to carry their babies in slings or carriers, close to their bodies. Are we really all crazy cry babies, Motrin? Because that’s what your ad implies.

As a marketing consultant, I’m shaking my head. Did you focus group test this ad with the right audiences, Motrin? What were your brand managers thinking? Did you have a truly representative group of Mothers involved in developing this campaign?

The irony is that many Moms (and Dads) will admit that they suffered from back pain due to baby wearing. The message of this ad is not off-base, it’s the execution that is so insulting. Motrin could have communicated its message in a way that would have been truly helpful to parents, but instead Motrin opted for mean-spirited “humor” that is full of bad stereotypes and misinformation.

Motrin is owned by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson. And guess what? This is the SECOND time in a year that J&J, marketer of many leading baby brands, has made a massive miscalculation when marketing to its core audience: new Moms. Last time around, J&J invited a bunch of blogging Moms to a retreat but forgot that Moms have – well, children! Not only did J&J make no provisions for childcare, but they barred nursing mothers from bringing their babies. Must have been because odds are, those nursing Moms were carrying their babies in slings! Or carriers! And now we know that J&J thinks those women are crazy!

But you be the judge. Here’s the text of the ad (thanks to NewsAnchorMom), and a link to the video.

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.

Check out this YouTube video of the outrage on Twitter. Advertisers, be warned: Never, ever offend a blogging, tweeting Mom!

What do you think? Leave a comment and share! Or send a tweet and tag it #motrinmoms! You can read the live feed here.

2 Responses to “Motrin®: I’m Appalled”

  1. joyce schwarz on November 16, 2008 2:33 pm

    Did you see my post — I’m first media person to get ahold of their ad agency TAXI in NYC

    Wow, Joyce, you really jumped on this one, didn’t you? Thanks for leaving the link. — Lynn

  2. Muthering Heights on November 17, 2008 10:20 pm

    I think they REALLY misread the focus group on this one…someone is getting fired, I’m sure!

    Hi, thanks so much for stopping by! You know, you never know….I don’t wish anyone to lose their job, especially not in this economy. I think the real problem here is the advertiser looked at “Moms” as one target group, when there are clear subsegments. I use what’s called “personas” with my B2C clients, so we can really get into the heads of the very distinct careabouts of our target Moms. — Lynn

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