Here at birdsong gregory, our Charlotte branding and advertising agency always counsels clients about the effective use of social media marketing, and we recommend they first speak to their target audience and figure out what messaging (and channel) would appeal to them.
I’m not sure if the manufacturer of Motrin followed our marketing advice, but judging by the enormous backlash the company faced in the fall of 2008 over it’s new Motrin “Mom-Alogue” video, I suspect they didn’t speak to a single mother (at least, they didn’t speak to any that use Twitter and baby slings). Creative Charlotte please take note.
Within hours of pushing this video out into the global social media stream, indignant "Momma Bloggers" began to punish the Motrin brand with vituperative tweats. Apparently, women still enjoy carrying their babies monkey-style, and resented Motrin's implication that offspring was a painful burden to bear.
What can the rest of us learn from this? Never assume you know your target audience. Never assume that just because you’ve created something “viral” that the sentiment will always be positive. And, always build your social media campaign with some input from those who represent ALL your target audience. As more North Carolina advertising agencies began to offer social media marketing services, there will be the increased danger of viral content going bad . . . so please think before you publish.