November 17, 2008

Twitstorm Erupts After Motrin Ad Mocks Babywearing

So you leave the office Friday from your job as the account exec of the Motrin online account, and you think things are going fine.

Then you get in Monday to find out that a mob of Twittering mombloggers has called for your termination because the webisode you guys made where the mom complained that all this "trendy" babywearing was killing her back? Not. Funny.

And now your client is forced to send out a mass apology email where she's forced to use her own kids as a human shield:

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...

I suggest you grab all the free product you can while you can. You'll have plenty of time to dwell on the hippie vs. hipster paradox later.

Meanwhile, there's not a single mention of dads anywhere as the Twit's hitting the fan across the entire country. What were they doing about it? It was the weekend, so I assume they were all taking the kids to McDonald's for hotcakes and sausage.

update: alright, here's the clip. "Mocks" might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I agree it was offensive, if only for using the words "bod" and "toootally" in unironic ways.

Moms and Motrin [nyt's parenting [sic] blog, via dt reader dt]


Too many words. If I wanted to read television ads, I'd pick up a magazine.

Yeah, it's toootally not offensive. BTW my back is killing me from the Dad form of carrying my 25 pounder, the "you lift him off the ground and carry him, down the stairs, out the door, into the car seat" kind of way.

Seriously? Some of these fanatics need to learn to let it go. I mean the ad's incredibly dumb, but aside from that... who cares. Personally, I've worn a child in both a sling and a baby carrier and they DID hurt my neck and back.

I did it anyway. Who cares.

Are you kidding me? I toootally identified with this ad - I love carrying my daughter close to me - and I will buy Motrin to support a well executed ad. The typography is interesting and I like the nod to the obvious - carrying a bag of squirrels on your chest / back hurts - but absolutely worth it.

I did actually find this ad offensive enough to complain, and I can count the ads I've ever complained about on just a couple of fingers. There are so many ways you could have fun with the pain of having a child. How about the way the RUN into you for a full body slam, which affects not just moms and dads but also aunts and uncles. You could even have fun visuals with an ad about that. The fact is, this ad was not fun. Just whiny.

(And I'm sure a lot of male babywearers out there don't feel like they look like a "total mom.)

Motrin gives my kid heartburn, so meh.

I had twins, and figured out a way to rig *two* Baby Bjorns on my 'bod' so I could carry them both.

I am not offended by the advertisement.

I got so tired of trying to explain to people that no, actually carrying my kid in a sling is much much much less stress on my back than carrying him without one, and it's much less hassle than trying to maneuver a stroller everywhere I go.
So I don't like that this ad feeds the idea that wearing a baby is a hardship somehow.

I had heard that the twitter blow-up turned into more of a "how could this have possibly gotten past the execs at McNeil - they clearly don't hire enough moms as executives"

The writing and art direction are good. The strategy? Not so much.
My guess is that no one on the creative or account teams is a parent. I'm also guessing that the brand manager on the client side isn't a parent either.

At least VW won't be pissing any fashion concious 'Wearing Parental Units now that the new VW SUV commercial has a sling wearing dad confronting the issues of mom wanting a Volvo cause it's so much safer.

That ad is loaded with more BS than the stuff I put down on my lawn last weekend...

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