Sunday, November 16, 2008

Motrin Has a Pain in the ...

Companies and their agencies have been making mistakes – really BIG and, in hindsight, avoidable mistakes – since the beginning of agencies and companies. That’s not new. (NEW1!)

What is new is speed and documentation.

If Motrin made this ad ...

... in 1998, a time when baby-wearers and slings and whatnot were already in play, the reaction would have been the same. Ten years ago if you were offended by a commercial message, you probably would still tell people at the grocery, the office, the saloon, the lunch counter, whatever. Information moved more slowly, but the basic pattern was the same.

The big difference in this instance is that all of those conversations about Motrin – the ones taking place on the magic Intertoobs – are happening in public. We know who’s talking about the ads and what they’re saying.

If you’re scoring at home (and even if you’re all alone) there’s your newness. Miss this point and you're in for a long 21st Century.

There’s still some credit to the Motrin team. As I write this – and it may be a google swamping but perhaps a strategic decision – the offending site is no longer available. If somebody made that decision and especially if that somebody didn’t have permission to make that decision, good on ye’.

If this ad had run in 1998 instead of 2008, all the same conversations would have taken place. They would have been less public and less well documented. And we wouldn’t know about them yet.

And neither would Motrin.

They wouldn’t have had the option to stop p!$$!ng people off.

Somebody really should ask about the makeup of Motrin’s corporate and agency teams. Do they have mothers on the team? Did they Burke the ad? What research messages inspired it and what kind of feedback have they gotten that hasn’t been tweeted yet?

But we should listen to the answers.

Image Cred: Armano

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