In case you hadn’t heard — Motrin recently released an ad that blew it on so many fronts. The target audience of the ad seems to be Moms who wear their babies. As a PR professional, I have to wonder if they tested the ad on any Moms who actually wear their babies. As a Mom, I wonder if they tested the ad on any Moms.
Baby-wearing Moms are offended. Moms who used to wear their babies are offended. Moms who never wore their babies are offended. The ad is somewhat condescending. Even worse, it launched during International Babywearing week. In that sense, the ad also managed to be pandering. As this video by Katja Presnal illustrates, Motrin managed to antagonize a lot of people. If you have any doubts, go to Twitter and search for the #motrin conversation.
I wear my baby sometimes. I’ve got a Slingaroo, which I wrote about here. Now I use it for convenience. When she was a newborn, I did it to comfort her. It doesn’t hurt when I put her in there the right way and when I’ve got the sling on properly. And I’ve NEVER used my sling to be “in fashion,” nor have I done it so that I look like an official Mom, or to explain to people why I look “tired and crazy.”
I’m not as fired-up or offended by Motrin’s ad as a lot of other people. I see it as a PR mistake from which to learn. I’m anxious to see what the company does in the coming days to reach out to the mommy bloggers and social media mavens.
****UPDATE – right after I posted, I discovered that Motrin’s PR team is already reacting and taking the ad down.