If Twitter is social media’s living room, then the conversation and uproar over the new Motrin ad is now spilling out into the streets — moms upset by the ad have created YouTube video responses, Flickr groups, a CafePress Shop, and many, many, many, many blog posts in response to the ad.
Last night I wondered how long the ad would remain on the website. This morning I wonder how common it is for brands to actively listen to social media over the weekends, nevermind have the systems in place to respond quickly during off-hours.
Most of the uproar seems to be at the condescending tone and content of the ad, mainly the idea that:
- Moms wear babies in slings as a fashion statement, or to be trendy
- Wearing babies in slings is a new thing
- Moms are crazy
Although the ad doesn’t come right out and say it, I think another underlying message is that moms secretly resent having to carry kids. The implication that caring for her kids causes a mom so much pain that she needs a pill to solve it makes mothering itself seem like a disease that requires treating.
Some twitterers are looking thoughtfully at the ad itself, wondering if it had to be this way:
Could the ad have been designed in such a way as to still target new mothers, but without the condescending tone and widely perceived insults? It’s certainly true that new mothers, and mothers in general, are a valuable target market for a brand like Motrin. What could they have done differently?
(Ed: here’s a suggested rewrite of the ad, suggested on the #MotrinMom thread.)
What do you think?
(ed: Here’s an interesting take on the mixed message of the ad, given the potential risks of using ibuprofin during nursing, by a former pharma rep for Motrin.)