Monday, November 17, 2008

Mama Mafia Strikes Again

A word to all companies out there: Don't anger the womenfolk. If you want to sell a product, the best advice is to suck up to the person making the buying decisions. In most families, that person is dear ole Mom. And because of this, we have serious leveraging power to make or break any new or old product out there.

This weekend was a perfect example how the Internet is used in social marketing. The drug maker Motrin released a new ad targeting Moms who wear their babies in slings or carriers. It was supposed to be edgy and satirical in a sense, but they got the presentation way wrong. Instead, it made baby wearing a fashion statement instead of a well known way to comfort and bond with your little bambino. (And I might mention this is a global practice, not one limited to those who have access to Bjorn products.)

To even suggest that baby wearing is a fashion statement is completely sickening to me. My immediate thought was that Motrin was trying to compare baby wearing to those clueless, vain actresses on the red carpet who carry around a rat dog as an accessory.

Babies are NOT accessories!

Another serious flaw with their whole message besides the fact that it is offensive, is that slings and carriers are able to help parents physically. Instead of having to carrying a little one around in your arms all the time, these devices will allow the user to proportionately distribute the weight of their little one and provide LESS body strain. Thus making this argument that Moms out there need Motrin pretty much useless.

Didn't quite think that one through, huh, Motrin?

Over the weekend, there was a serious backlash from Moms around the Cyberworld including youtube videos like this. Twitter Moms went crazy over this and I know I am not the only blog out there writing about it. News and opinion travels fast in this day and age, so companies need to be more in tune with this form of advertising.

So, it begs the question - are Mamas more organized than we think? I mean, we are the largest organized gang in the world! If we don't like something, it will go down. If we find something that we absolutely love, it will probably be one of the best selling products on the market.

Companies beware - Mama Mafia is watching.

And one thing that you can be sure of - we will tell others.

Update on this post: has issued an apology and is pulling this advertisement. Check out their website for more information. But keep it short, we don't want to give them anymore attention. They need a time out!


Kim said...

I had never seen this ad before. Hmm. They couldn't decide what tone to take, because it is decidedly snarky at the beginning but attempts sincerity at the end.

It reinforces my sneaking suspicion that the hip and cool look down on us SAHMs. Let me go pop a TYLENOL and think on it further . . .

Helene said...

I'm glad they took the ad down and apologized but yeah, they totally screwed up! I saw the ad after reading about it on another mom's blog and I sat there with my jaw open, watching it. All I could think was that their advertising agent has to be a man.

You are so right about moms being such an influence on what is being bought and what is not. If we like something, we tell others and soon everyone is buying that item. But if an item totally sucks, no one will buy it!

Lisa said...

I totally agree with you on the advertising. Do not compare my baby to a little pooch. Dogs are great but they missed the point on that on. I agree with Helene, must have been a man. thank you for visiting my blog so nice to meet you, I will be back also.

Toni said...

Okay, please don't throw anything at me but I wasn't totally offended by that ad. Now, don't get me wrong, I can see where people would find it offensive and they might should have run by a few more Moms before airing it but if I had seen it with out the controversy surrounding it - I am not sure I would have given it a second thought. Please don't kick me out of the gang!

That said you are right about the Mama Mafia and what Moms like and dislike! And I personally think that is GREAT!

Sabrae said...

I saw this on another blog as well about the ad... can you tell I'm not a mom? I didn't even know what baby wearing was!!! lol She had to explain it through photos that she sent me to make me understand it... I have yet to see the motrin commercial...but havn't really been watching to much tv either

Herr Ruin said...

interesting article.
btw. i own since many years. ;-)