Two days ago, Saturday Nov. 15, Motrin released an ad that caught the wrath of the social media community. It was designed to appeal to moms, who carry their babies in slings, wraps and Baby Bjorns. But it backfired.
By Saturday night, the ad became one of the most tweeted subjects on Twitter, (a networking tool where people write 140-character messages). Moms, from all walks of life, were outraged about the tone, wording and thinking behind the ad, which suggested that wearing babies were fashion statements, and that moms did this, despite feeling back, neck and other pain.
By Sunday, several YouTube videos appeared, with moms saying things like the ad "was disrespectful... and we should take our buying power somewhere else." Bloggers also started calling for a boycott of Motrin, according to the New York Times.
But what is most appalling to me, as a marketer, is that the ad agency that created this ad didn't know much about Twitter, per the Times article. In fact, the Times article said:
"By Sunday afternoon a few bloggers and tweeters had gotten the ad agency that created the ad on the phone, to find they didn’t know a lot about Twitter and didn’t seem to have a clue that there was so much anger piling up online."
In this day and age, it's INEXCUSABLE that an ad agency - and marketing team - not monitor the social media conversation about their brand. It's so simple to do so, and yet so effective.
Tweetbeep, for example, can send you alerts every time your brand is mentioned on Twitter, (or whatever keywords you suggest). In fact, I have alerts sent to me whenever someone responds to my tweets.
There are also blogging tools and Google alerts that can provide you with posts and articles that mention your brand.
So, the fact that the ad agency, and the marketing team, was in the dark about all this online chatter is just beyond belief.
I wouldn't hire them.
In fact, I wouldn't hire a marketing manager or coordinator who didn't use Facebook or Twitter, or read blogs regularly. As this Motrin controversy shows, online conversations have a tremendous amount of influence on the brand. And not being savvy about blogs, online networking, social media tools, etc. is a kiss-of-death in my book.
Oh, feel free to follow me on twitter: @jdlugoz