Friday Folly – November 21, 2008

You have probably already seen this, but the folly of the week can ONLY be awarded to this lovely piece from Motrin. Though in my opinion, the folly was not in creating or even pulling the ad from circulation – but in NOT capitalising on the situation by engaging in the conversation that was ALREADY happening around the brand.


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4 comments

  1. These firms that seem so scared of messing up their message, or failing to deal with criticism.
    The paradigm is to take responsibility, admit you’ve upset some people. Then either have the courage of your convictions to say “we think most of our customers like it” or “mea culpa”.
    Yes they should have embraced and extended the dialogue with their customers.

  2. After hearing about ths story earlier in the week, I was expecting something way more controversial than that to have sparked such a reaction. Definitely Motrin should have engaged the audience by discussing the reactions and why they reacted that way to a subject that, let’s face it, sounds very much like the sort of stuff I hear Mums talking about all the time. Merely pulling the ad with a weak note on their website obviously drafted by the marketing with all soul sucked from it just validated the complaints without any defence. And it is definitely defendable.
    Another example of a company far too scared of social media and preferring to take radical and costly action rather than risk further discussion in a space they feel they have no control.

  3. I can see how they were trying to make the connections between the symptom and the solution, but they really missed the mark. That is like saying “Boy I’ve been walking all day and now I’m sweaty and stinky” and then flashing the word ‘Rheem’ on the screen…brand exposure is not nearly as important as positive brand equity, a direction they should have aimed for.

  4. Paul … you are right … small steps would have changed the whole scenario.
    Jonathan … I think the question of control is interesting. It is also illusory. Marketers have never actually had control – they just owned the structure of the broadcast message. Conversation has always been the domain of the individual.
    Josh … agree — it was all about missing the mark. It wasn’t far off, but it was enough to cause a groundswell.