If there was only one piece of advice I could give to advertisers trying to reach moms, it would be this -
Don't tell moms you understand them.
As Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman - Big Mistake.
Moms have a B.S. meter stronger than a beagle's nose. Anything that they deem inauthentic is going to get pummeled. Note the emphasis on what they deem inauthentic.
In the world today - perception is reality.
So what did Motrin do that has so many moms in an uproar?
It's a video on the Motrin site talking about moms who "wear" their young'uns.
As of this writing, the video is still on the Motrin Homepage.
Beth Dunn at Small Dots has a summary of some of the reactions. She's just one of dozens and dozens of blog posts lambasting Motrin. You can check out the full force of moms' reactions on Twitter. You can even watch a video on Youtube.
The amazing thing about Social Media is that brands can get instant feedback from huge numbers of consumers about their brands and their advertising efforts.
As Wenda Harris Millard of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia said at a recent conference - "The Internet has given women a voice, and they're screaming their heads off."
Right now the folks at Motrin may be wishing for earplugs.
There are all sorts of reasons why this ad missed the mark with women. I think some of the reaction is a little harsh, but I see where Motrin went wrong.
Many women are challenging the whole premise of the ad. But the delivery doesn't help either. The voice-over feels extremely inauthentic. I just couldn't imagine a woman really saying those words.
It also feels like Motrin is trying too hard. It's the danger I write of often - brands try to "tell" rather than "show" moms they understand them. Women, especially moms, are super skeptical of this "we understand you" approach.
Many women on Twitter asked if these ads had been tested on the target audience. Some wondered how the idea even made it into production. I'd be really curious to know if Motrin did test the ad. Are there women who really like/related to the ad?
Speak up readers - any of you like the ad?