MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Motrin Causes Mommy Headaches

I know I’ve been talking a lot about YouTube and its role in social marketing or just building communities, but I have to do it one more time – so bare with me.

This post isn’t even necessarily directed at a YouTube “issue”. Rather more focused on Motrin’s lame attempt at delving into social media marketing. The article discusses the Motrin ad and compares it to other “social media infernos”, but I also think there are some key lessons that Motrin learned (hopefully) from the disaster that was their Controversial Motrin Moms Commercial.

The first issue I found with this whole campaign is that Motrin did not look for or listen to feedback. After 48 hours, other social media sites (other than YouTube) were flooded with conversation of disgust centered around the advertisement. Clearly Motrin did not do their research about social media and how to use one tool effectively and other tools to monitor the response and ongoing conversation after the release of the ad into the online world.  Note to all organizations: you must understand more than one social tool and/or network before unleashing an advertisement, message, conversation, etc. to people who completely understand and respect the tools and the conversations that occur in that environment.

What’s even more shocking is they didn’t even go online to find mothers/mommy bloggers and ask how they felt about the advertisement. And they didn’t even think to include mothers in the process of developing the advertisement in the first place. This completely boggles my mind. The ad probably doesn’t make any sense to mothers. I mean, I doubt that if Motrin ran a focus group with mothers, the majority of them would identify ‘fashionably wearing their baby when it causes them so much pain’ a major concern. I doubt they would say, “if only I had a pain killer I could strut around with my fashionable baby strap all day long!!” Puuhhhllleeeaassee!!

Anyway, basically I think it’s time that organizations become a little bit a lot more responsible when it comes to using social media. There are way too many examples of what NOT to do, and how-to-do-it-right. Anyone can learn, it’s just a matter of the organization taking the time to do it, and paying attention.

This class is ending and I feel so privileged to have been a part of it. I have learned so much and I’ve had such a great time doing it. I can already see how this knowledge I have picked up is going to help me in the PR world. Employers are excited about it and I’m excited about it. I think CC is on to something…eventually (and I can’t wait) the term “social media” will fade away and it will quickly become a part of common communication practices.

Peace out PBRL 4405!! It’s been a time!

Kim 🙂


June 17, 2009 - Posted by | Comment on Course Material | , , , ,


  1. Great post Kim! I remember seeing the Motrin campaign and I agree with you on how ridiculous and terribly done it was.

    I thought it was interesting how you talked about how Motrin should have been monitoring other social media sites for feedback, this is such a great and obvious idea! It seems like a lot of organizations (Motrin, for example) are hopping on the social media bandwagon simply because they think that they are “supposed to.”

    It’s not enough for organizations to just USE social media, they need to UNDERSTAND it as well. You mentioned in your post that there are a lot of examples of social media gone bad, as well as examples of excellence. I think that it’s important to farmiliarize yourself with these examples, but it’s also important to have some type of education or training in social media before undertaking a full fledged social media campaign.

    Although it’s still an emerging part of PR, there are different ways for practitioners to farmiliarize themselves with social media. This course, for example has taught us a lot about how social media works, what it can and can’t do, etc. I know that IABC also offers seminars on the use and significance of social media. The information is out there, organizations just need to make a consious effort to take advantage of it.

    Comment by nveitch | June 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. What’s our mantra, kbslice?! Together, we are wise. Peace out to you, too. Thanks for being part of this ride.

    Comment by doctor d | June 19, 2009 | Reply

  3. or rather, peace, out.

    Comment by doctor d | June 19, 2009 | Reply

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