Motrin: A Lesson In Issue Campaigning
As told by Ad Age, here is a fascinating account of the brouhaha over a recent — now deceased — advertising campaign for Motrin, the painkiller. It’s left some executives at Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit consuming a lot of their own medicine!
The ads were an attempt by Motrin to connect and show empathy with moms … but some moms were instead insulted and incensed. And a backlash that ignited via blogs and Twitter on last Friday caused J&J to pull down the campaign by the next Monday! That’s quite a result.
Here’s the apology they posted on the front page of the Motrin website …
But it’s not easy to "pull" an ad campaign these days. Try googling "Motrin" and you’ll see how much backlash was triggered … and still lingers!
To see what the fuss was about, go to the Ad Age piece to view the online video ad, which is accompanied by a print ad campaign. What’s your reaction?
This episode provides a great case study for issue advocacy of the future. If the right hot button gets hit, in an age of amazingly powerful and infectious social media, watch out!