November 17, 2008

Motrin: The Smartest Social Media People In The Room

You couldn't throw a Thanksgiving turkey into the oven without hitting a blogger who expressed disdain for this Motrin video. A group of angry Twitter Moms rebelled, the social media punditocracy jumped all over this groundswell of dissatisfaction, and a blogosphere-based marketing firestorm of at least one thousand blog posts in twenty-four hours circled the globe.

But the coup of the whole thing was to goad Seth Godin into commenting about the response on his blog. By doing this, Motrin gained instant and exclusive access to 150,000 loyal marketing executives who subscribe to Seth's Blog. Even better, most of these folks have their own blogs, with an occasionally unique and unduplicated readership. Within seconds, a half-million marketing executives are publicly talking about Motrin.

When is the last time you could say that about Motrin?

You see, Motrin just established a new best practice in social media marketing.
  • Post a video that may or may not offend some customers.
  • Carefully monitor Twitter and Friendfeed for potential blowback.
  • Allow bloggers to virally move the story around the globe.
  • Put an apology on the site too late to appease the blogosphere, creating additional blowback. Make sure the apology sounds like it was written by a lawyer so that the blogosphere further erupts.
  • Hope the mainstream media picks up the story.
  • Manipulate Google into encouraging searchers to learn more about Motrin by driving blogs into the top ten search results for the term motrin video. No need for paid search here!
  • Reap the benefits as folks visit Rite Aid in droves to buy Motrin.
Links are the currency of the internet. Over the past three days, Motrin gained thousands of links at essentially no cost. Most bloggers spend their entire lives hoping to get the kind of link-based traction Motrin gained in just forty-eight hours.

As you already know, you cannot possibly hope to ever measure the ROI of social media, but the experts tell you that you must have a social media strategy. Therefore, it must be obvious to you that Motrin management carefully manipulated the over-zealous and judgmental nature of the marketing blogosphere to spread the Motrin brand name to marketing executives who purchase Advil and Tylenol. Every-day headaches created by pressing marketing issues exacerbated "... in these challenging economic times" will now be cured by Motrin.

Motrin: The Smartest Social Media People In The Room!

Added 11/17/2008 --- 9:51pm: FYI, this article was written with satire in mind :)


  1. Anonymous6:33 PM

    I agree with your bullet points, except the last one. Are consumers REALLY visiting pharmacies in droves to buy Motrin now?

    As someone who preaches against best practices--and the reason why I respect your blog--do you know for sure if Motrin sales have really increased as a result? If so, I respectfully apologize.

    They have gotten a lot of PR, you can't discount that.

  2. No need to apologize, the article was written "tongue-in-cheek".

    I probably should have labeled the fact that I actually disagree with most of what I said, I'll go in and do that!


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