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November 17, 2008

"Official Moms" Sling Their Babies, Motrin Says

1 I'm usually on Twitter several times a day, but over the weekend, I completely unplugged and spent the time hanging with my kids and a bunch of other moms.  As I sat down at the computer this morning, I immediately discovered that there was a media firestorm aimed at an ad produced by Motrin.com.

Here's a view of the ad over on YouTube: Motrin, We Feel Your Pain.

As the first words appeared, my first thought was-- cool, a text-based ad that I can actually access!  So many video ads are done by voice only and being deaf, I can't access them. I sat back to watch the ad. 

"Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion," it begins.  As I watched the rest of the words scroll through, I started shaking my head. "Supposedly it's a real bonding experience," the ad sneers. "Plus it totally makes me look like an official mom," it goes on.  It wraps up with: "So if I look tired and crazy, people will understand why." As the last words flashed on the screen, I had to ask:

How the heck did this get approved by a marketing team and then ultimately, the team that approves ads for Motrin products?

Perhaps the team was aiming for a snarky approach, but their very last line, "We feel your pain," tells me that the Motrin ad team has totally missed the mark in reaching out to me.

You want to talk about pain?  Try bending over and lifting a toddler who is writhing on the floor of Toys R Us because it's a little too close to naptime.  Try sitting through three hours of a baseball game sitting on a hard bleacher in the hot sun--with a headache.  Or we can talk about the pain that comes from tripping over an infant toy on the way to reaching a pot that's boiling over on the stove.  Of course, we could back up and talk about the pain of recovering from two cesareans--a time when I reached out for the bottle of pain pills a few times a day.

Years ago, I would have been the mom that Motrin was targeting in the ad.  I was the mom who had a baby in the sling at the pool while playing in the water with a two- and four-year old. The mom with the toddler in the sling at the baseball game.  The mom with the third kid who loved to be held.  And here's the thing-- I had an aching back before I even had kids.  The sling made it so much easier for me to carry my kiddo around than my arms and hips but heck, that back of mine went screaming after a long day of being Mommy-- with or without the sling.   

The Motrin ad was clearly a put-down and a turn off--and those who viewed the ad were quick to voice their opinion on blogs and Twitter.   Within hours after the Motrin link was posted on Twitter, the topic rocketed to the top of Twitter and thousands of tweets were gathered.  As I did a search this morning, one of the top results was a video put together by Katja PresnalMotrin Giving Moms a Headache.

Motrin pulled the ad off of their website.  I'm guessing that the team behind this ad is digging into a large bottle of Motrin this morning.

This is an original Chicago Moms Blog post.  Karen blogs at A Deaf Mom Shares Her World and is a feature writer for Disaboom. 

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