Many of us know the power of word-of-mouth and viral activity. In most instances, it occurs because of the effect of what I call ‘The Viral 4-H Club’ meaning it’s got to be either Humorous, Helpful, Heartwarming or Hot-blooded.
True viral activity invokes emotion and less than 24 hours ago, ‘Hot-blooded’ mommy bloggers had (and continue to have) center stage regarding an on-line ad where Motrin espouses ‘We feel your pain” aimed at Moms who carry their children in slings. At the time of this post, #motrinmoms was still the #1 trending topic on Twitter and the growing number of blog posts to go along with it are sure to make the brand and agency need a little of their own medicine in the morning. Check out this video that PR maven Katja Presnal created recapping some of the conversations on twitter.
As a Mom of three, I agree the Motrin ad misses the mark in a big way. If this were my client, I would have suggested copy that expresses a Mom’s love of the bonding aspect and ease of ‘babywearing’ but that, every now and then, it can take a toll on your muscles. That’s the plain and simple truth. Don’t get ‘cheeky’ about babywearing being ‘in fashion’ and “supposedly a real bonding experience” (talk about ‘ouch’) and then say (due to the potential pain of babywearing), “so if I look tired and crazy, people will understand why.” That is direct copy from the ad. That’s just insulting and condescending.
The main issue in my mind is not that the ad exists but that neither the brand, the PR nor the ad agency were monitoring ‘Operation Twitterstorm’ which was developing and picking up steam throughout the day. If you’re a brand that targets women and moms, you SHOULD know that the highly sought-after Mommy bloggers who are being wined-and-dined by brands and agencies are ACTIVE Twitter users. Wal-Mart knows. Zappos knows. Whole Foods knows. Comcast knows.
I always like to site @comcastcares as a great example of a brand doing it right on Twitter (not just with Moms but with all their customers). Frank Eliason (@comcastcares) monitors conversations involving Comcast, he reaches out to customers who are having issues and he or others on his team, makes their best attempt to solve them. A simple gripe online is a whisper but a monitored solution is a shout-from-the-rooftops.
So many brands I encounter are still confused by Twitter and are worried about engaging in more ‘Web 2.0’ solutions because “what if someone says something bad?” They are also trying to figure out why they need to be involved and how it will be good for their business. I always explain that getting direct, honest feedback from consumers (positive AND negative) should be looked at as a teaching/learning moment which may help make a product or brand better AND if the comments and conversations are promptly addressed, the brand can come out in a better light because they were LISTENING and they engaged the customer in CONVERSATION to come up with a solution.