Monday, December 15, 2008

Motrin Gets a Headache while Ford needs no new media bailout

Great "wrap up" of two case studies in social media - one we discussed at length (Motrin). Hat tip to Howard Greenstein of the Harbrooke Group for an insightful post about the two companies and the contrast in approach to social media.

Motrin Gets a Headache while Ford needs no new media bailout

This month has been an interesting one in the New Media world. In the early part of the month, Motrin was attacked by an army of Mommy Bloggers and Mommy Twitterers. Motrin ran an ad online with corresponding print campaign discussing “baby wearing” - the practice of putting babys in packs, slings and other devices to help moms carry them. The premise was “this can hurt your back - try Motrin.” The actual execution to me was tone deaf, but to many Mom bloggers and Twitters was offensive. The traffic started to grow on Twitter, with links to posts from Mommy bloggers expressing outrage at the perceived slight. There was even a 9 minute YouTube response with pictures of moms carrying babys and Twitter posts. This all happened on a weekend, but by Sunday night, Kathy Widmer, VP of Marketing had taken down the ad and replaced it with an apology. I’ll get to my take on that response in a second.

Another incident occured when Ford car enthusiast site received a notice from Ford’s legal counsel asking for $5000 and for them to take down their web domain. They posted the notice on their site, asking their fans to get outraged about it. News of the incident hit Twitter, and eventually Social Media News sites. Very quickly, Ford’s Global Digital Communications head, Scott Monty (an interview with Scott and me on Blog Talk Radio from Blog World Expo) stepped in via Twitter and directly on the Ranger Station to state that he was looking into the issue. Before the end of the day, Scott had gotten in touch with Ford’s legal group, and had clarified the issue on the RangerStation site. MORE HERE

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