The Motrin Debacle: It's Less About Twitter Power, More About A Bad Idea

So a couple of creatives thought they would create a knowing, lightly-sarcastic bit about a stress of mommy-hood and things went horribly, desperately wrong in their creative execution.  Is it funny?  Almost, just not quite funny enough.  If it were hilarious, Mom’s less prone to righteous indignance might have weighed in and leavened out the response.  But it wasn’t, they didn’t, and now all of us must read post after post discussing how the microbloggers at Twitter brought the big heartless  pharma company to its knees.  And how consumers quickly replied by generating video content. And how the overly corporate tone of McNeil Consumer Healthcare Companies’ eventual response missed a chance at connection.  And on and on and on…

By Law I Must Reference This Incident Today

By Law I Must Reference This Incident Today

All of which misses the point entirely.  The blogosphere responses only address the symptoms; the actual sickness lies with the ill-considered idea that started everything.  I loved that “Reservoir Dogs” animated typography on YouTube too but that doesn’t mean swiping it and applying it injudiciously makes any sense.  Marketing begins and ends with ideas, but those ideas need to be clever, strategic, and relevant to the target.  On those points, this one missed.  Big.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79