Congratulations Motrin. You just proved why every brand needs to understand Social Media

Are you still trying to convince your management why your brand should be monitoring Social Media?  Well if you are a Consumer Packaged Good brand (or any brand really), just look at what happened to Motrin over the past couple of days and the reaction of Motrin Moms.

A simple search on Twitter of #motrinmoms will show you that they pissed off a lot of people with their latest ad around “babywearing.”  Mommy Bloggers are not people you want to mess with and you sure better understand the sandbox you are playing in if you do them wrong.  For instance, just look at this Consumer Generated Media that has already popped up in response.  Not exactly brand content you want at the top of search results.

The Lesson for Brand Managers:

Motrin screwed up.  It happens.  But in today’s world of Social Media, the place they really screwed up was in not monitoring what people were saying about the brand.  This PR disaster is happening underneath their nose and no one on the brand is responding.  Not their advertising agency, not their Public Relations group and not the brand itself.   The unfortunate fact is that company’s haven’t trained Brand Managers to respond quickly to situations like this.  That needs to change….and it needs to change fast.

People are going to be talking about your brand, with or without the Brand Manager‘s permission.  This simple fact is reason enough that you should be monitoring the conversations around your brand.  Motrin is just the latest brand to learn this lesson the hard way.

UPDATE – Well it looks like Motrin is trying to respond.  If you commented on their website, it looks like their VP of Marketing has a response that is being sent out (Thanks to Amy Gates for the lead).  And the Motrin.com site has been taken down for now, but thanks to the power of YouTube, you can still see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmykFKjNpdY (Thanks Bill Seaver)

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22 Responses to Congratulations Motrin. You just proved why every brand needs to understand Social Media

  1. [...] Knox echoes these points in his post: “Congratulations Motrin. You just proved why every brand needs to understand Social Media ” and reminds me of Brian Solis’ post on crisis communications (which I can’t [...]

  2. Someone was able to capture the original video and post it to YouTube before the Motrin site was shut down. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmykFKjNpdY

  3. Daniel Sweet says:

    the Motrin response:

    http://crunchydomesticgoddess.com/2008/11/16/motrins-response-to-the-onslaught-of-complaints/

    the “We are in process of removing it from our website.” from the VP of Marketing seems to have tuned into…um how do you stop that thing…oh just pull the plug, we’ll fix it tomorrow.

    the whole motrin.com site appears to be down at present.

  4. KarenKramer says:

    Hopefully, The folks from Motrin will stand up and take notice… Social Media has turned simple “word-of-mouth” advertisings in to one powerful beast.

  5. [...] posts on the Motrin site. Dave Knox, a digital brand manager for Procter & Gamble, says Motrin has a problem on its hands (link via Cyndy Aleo-Carreira at The Industry Standard). [...]

  6. write55 says:

    Lessons for us all in your post. If I had to guess, I’d bet that the Johnson & Johnson/McNeil PR shop wasn’t looped into what the Marketing shop/Motrin brand team was up to on this one.

    If their teams were integrated, the response would have been quicker and more comprehensive.

    What do you predict they will do next? I’ve posted my thoughts on my blog. http://www.johntaylor.biz.

  7. Dave Knox says:

    All – Great points on this. Social Media really never sleeps. If you were Motrin, how would you respond? John Taylor wrote a great response on that subject in his above comment and on his blog
    (http://johntaylorcommunications.wordpress.com/2008/11/17/all-this-motrin-mess-gives-me-a-headache/)

  8. They shut down the entire Motrin website btw! Classic.

    to me, this shows another nail in the 30-second ad coffin. It’s just too hard to craft a message that engages people while not pissing off a great deal of them. Why bother?

  9. [...] learn more about the story, read Laura Fitton’s summary, Dave Knox of P&G is taking note, and the VP of Marketing representing Motrin has apparently responded (I can’t [...]

  10. [...] social media.  Dave Knox, a brand manager at Proctor & Gamble, points out in his blog that the real problem was not the Motrin ad that sparked the controversy, but the fact that no one [...]

  11. [...] Much of the online commentary I’ve seen so far has been on the power of the social networks. That consumer brands should take heed of them. Or not, at their peril. True enough. I agree, but the power here is not simply the network. It’s the community. The technology — the Internet, Twitter, blogs, YouTube etc — just helped the outrage build and spread further faster. [...]

  12. Marty says:

    I propose they missed the boat by not providing an outlet on their site to aggregate the content. Now they may as well empty the wallet on a keyword buy and then know most people will go to the Google buy anyway.

  13. tweetip says:

    1st Tweets ~ timeline & chart updated #motrinmoms… http://tweetip.us/lknkw

  14. [...] to rehash the story about Motrin, since it has been reported too many times. I saw it first from Dave Knox last night, then Jeremiah Owyang provided great details and analysis, and Bob Gilbreath gave a [...]

  15. [...] their moral outrage over an ad being run by Motrin (see embedded video below). Now I have read every post referencing the ad that has come in over my feeds this weekend and today and all I can do is [...]

  16. [...] Congratulations Motrin. You just proved why every brand needs to understand Social Media Are you still trying to convince your management why your brand should be monitoring Social Media?  Well if you are a [...] [...]

  17. [...] interesting to me — and I think to the food allergy community — is the larger lesson of how blogs and social networking sites can be used to send messages to producers and manufacturers.  On issues that are important to us all, we are much more likely to get producers/manufacturers [...]

  18. [...] Congratulations Motrin. You just proved why every brand needs to understand Social Media [...]

  19. [...] possibles d’individus en ligne, joignant leurs forces pour dénoncer un sujet qu’ils considèrent comme inacceptables. On avait déjà eu l’exemple avec Poweo et la google bombe sur le mot [...]

  20. [...] Congratulations Motrin. You just proved why every brand needs to understand Social Media [...]

  21. [...] learn more about the story, read Laura Fitton’s summary, Dave Knox of P&G is taking note, has made it to the NY Times Parenting Blog, and the VP of Marketing representing [...]

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