"Motrin Moms" Harness the Power of Social Media

God bless social media. Last week, there was no such thing as a "Motrin Mom." This week, it's an interest group.

The story: McNeil Consumer Health Care, makers of Motrin (otherwise known generically as ibuprofen), posted a 50-second seemingly tone-deaf "ad" on their site offering Motrin as a remedy for mothers of young children whose backs ached from carrying the kids in front-packs and such.

Shazam!

As fast as you can say i-bu-pro-fen, the video spread around the Net, mainly by outraged mothers who were offended by the implications of the ad (you can judge for yourself here). They congregated around Twitter, in particular, to share their outrage. By Sunday night, McNeil had pulled the ad and apologized, though of course, the ad itself lives on on YouTube and elsewhere, as does this newly formed interest group.

So, the scorecard:

  • Score one for activist online moms who were probably rightly offended by the tone deaf ad.
  • Score one for the power of social media to give the aggrieved a place to vent and organize.
  • Score one for Motrin as well. An expensive brand in a crowded field dominated by Advil and generics, they've now gotten free publicity in the Associated Press, the New York Times, and scores of other media. Can't be bad for business, though some Motrin moms might disagree.