A tale of one audience – with many voices.
You may have read how Johnson & Johnson recently pulled its multimedia campaign for Motrin, based on the vitroilic backlash of blogging moms across America. For those of you who missed the campaign, which ran on TV, in print and online (see video below), it focused on the pain associated with “baby wearing” and said that the pain of carrying a baby in a sling or similar device was enough to make moms look “tired and crazy.”
Here’s the Motrin video:
Now, there may well be a bunch of moms out there who legitimately feel this way. Judging by the overwhelming negative reaction towards the campaign, however, the moms that feel otherwise would seem to far outnumber them — or at least they’ve got a much louder voice. Witness this protest video that juxtaposes peaceful baby wearing pictures with Twitter postings (Tweets) from angry moms everywhere.
This video has been viewed about 50,000 times in its two days online, and it’s one of literally hundreds of online “protests,” which ultimately led to J&J not only yanking the campaign but posting a humble and contrite apology to the offended parties — even apologizing in advance for all the newspapers and magazines that are just hitting the stands which contain print ads from the campaign.
In an era where listening to your audience is key, it’s useful to remember that there are many voices within a given audience. If you don’t hear from all of them prior to campaign development, you may well hear from them when it’s too late.