Monday, November 17, 2008

Chill pill anyone?

Is it just me?

Or did the whole Motrin controversy that blew up over the Internetz this weekend give you a headache too?

Here are my two cents:

The ad was kinda lame and silly
The ad was no more lame and silly than 98% of ads out there.
The power of the momosphere need not be unleashed on every damn thing that's lame and silly.
Power is always more effective when wielded judiciously.

And also? At the risk of becoming extremely unpopular...I often think bloggers tend to hitch their bandwagon to the latest Internet "controversy" in hopes of increasing their on-line profile.

And I think that's unfortunate because it ultimately makes us all look lame and silly and, worse, it runs the risk of diluting our admittedly awesome power.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

I'll be over here ducking the rotten fruit.

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55 comments:

Brittany said...

Hmm I dunno, I didn't really care one way or the other. People have to sell their product, and I think they were really trying to reach the moms out there, but everyone took it the wrong way. *I* may not care as much, because I only wore my kids when I had to. Not that I didn't love them or anything, but I carried them for NINE months, isn't that long enough???

Rebecca said...

I think mommy bloggers have a little too much time of their hands.

toyfoto said...

I guess I agree. For the most part. And I love me some slings.

I might not go as far as to say that people jumping on the bandwaggon are doing so to bolster their profile. I'm not that cynical ... yet.

I think that we are just looking in the wrong direction. Why do we care what a company trying to sell us something says in its script? Why do we have such outrage for things we can easily just not buy? Is it because it hurts our feelings?

I'd rather my feelings get hurt by a commercial than my country go into useless, unwinnable wars and then tell us to go out and "shop." Seriously? Is that all we are? Outraged consumers?

Sorry. That was wordy for basically agreeing with you.

Angella said...

I missed all of the furor and just heard about it today.

All I can say is...WORD. Some things get blown up more than they need to be.

No rotten fruit coming from me :)

InTheFastLane said...

wanted to say it...but didn't want the fury to be unleashed at me...

Jozet at Halushki said...

"The ad was no more lame and silly than 98% of ads out there."

Well...ya gotta start somewhere and sometime, right?

The Internet is, right now, and imperfect and changeable tool. It's going to act like a huge hammer more often than a precision scalpel.

I honestly don't think it has been unleashed in this way on every thing that crosses it's path. The election and the candidates, yes. And now, people are looking for something to do with that energy and power. It will take time.

I don't think it was an wholly unworthy effort. The "perfect mom backlash" that some people got out of the commercial is one that dogs a lot of women. Again, yes, in the end...just a commercial. However, I'm of the opinion of Jean Kilbourne that there are, in fact, commercials out there that should be responded to. We'll get to them, I think.

As for bloggers hitching their bandwagons to controversies - any side - why yes...I do agree that this happens. ;-)

Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

Well I'll stand over there with you, behind you maybe (heh), saying "Ditto! What she said!"

CC said...

Fortunately, I missed that. And I'm not going to go look it up now!

Mr Lady said...

Yeah, it didn't really bother me at all. But I think Mom 101 made and EXCELLENT point in her post about it.

flutter said...

I am not a mom, so I don't have much to say on this one I suppose

Jozet at Halushki said...

(BTW...I was talking about myself hitching a bandwagon. Although, I also tackle big scary issues, too, so I'll give myself a pass on this one.)

Jane said...

I don't get the outrage either. It's a kind of dopey ad, but I don't see anything that's actually "offensive" about it.

I've made jokes along the lines of "hey I look like an official mom now," with friends. I think that's the tone they were going for -- off the cuff, playful among friends, etc. -- they just missed the mark.

Then again, I'm an ad copywriter myself, so maybe I look at ads a bit differently than most people do. While a lot of ad creatives are indeed young and male and annoying, even they have to get their ideas past the clients, the clients' spouses, focus groups, research, etc. It's not like a couple of kids dreamed this up over beers without input from anyone. (Even though it may come across that way.)

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Whoa, I will fess up and say that I usually read entire blog posts in my reader, but if I am ever going to click through to generate some pennies for the blog author, I'm doing it now!

I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. I personally believe that some people are constantly trolling the internet looking for the next thing to get pissed off about or offended over. I wonder what is so hard about saying, "Eh, live and let live"?

I already have a post in the works on this very subject. If you're okay with it I might link up to you (at this post) when I publish.

One thing, though... if the Motrin company was going to piss off one demographic, they really picked the wrong group. The moms who are followers of Dr. Sears (aka the attachment parenting people) are nazis about what is good vs. what is bad for your baby. If you even SUGGEST that not wearing your baby might be a good idea, ooh, the claws are coming out!

Watch, I will probably get some hate comments for even suggesting making a suggestion.

Jaina said...

I feel like I'm missing something...I don't know about this Motrin controversy. But I think you're spot on about everything else, at least in some cases. I won't be throwing any rotten fruit at you ;)

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

The Loop --> O

Not in the Loop --> Me

Motrin controversy? Missed that one. But I'll switch to Advil. ;-)

I think you're right, DMD, the power of the Blogosphere is a good thing, but it can be over wielded to the detriment of the demographic at times.

Jozet at Halushki said...

"The moms who are followers of Dr. Sears (aka the attachment parenting people) are nazis about what is good vs. what is bad for your baby."

Actually, this is the offensive stereotype that, I think, many people are offended by. I'd consider myself an attachment parent and follower of Dr. Sears - among other things. That someone I don't know would include me in a broad brush characterization as being a "nazi" and suggesting, without knowing me but based upon some bad experience with other individuals, is exactly the kind of fear and hysteria that this ad is playing on.

Again, it's not a big deal in the scheme of things - kids dying from incurable diseases, real nazis, etc. - but for some anxious new mom somewhere who decides to wear a sling and then gets labeled as being a slave to some parenting fashion or a "nazi" attachment parenter, well, it makes a sister's day harder. That's all.

BTW, you've now met an attachment parent who wears a sling and who doesn't think that parents who don't wear slings are evil. So, chalk one up against the prejudice, okay?

toyfoto said...

Yeah. I don't know many people (and I know a lot of Sears' AP folks) who are militant about baby-raising.

I know from experience that the ones so gunho on one way or another were just speaking for themselves.

I still tote around my 17-month-old son in a sling because it's easier for me. Period. I know it's not for everyone. So add me to the non-judgemental list, too.

MommyK said...

I thought the ad was stupid and obnoxious. Clearly, the people at Motrin didn't test the ad on moms or babywearers before they used it. I'm no marketing exec, but I can think of a dozen different ways to get the same message across without the tone they used.

However, I don't buy Motrin anyway, i always use generic pain relievers, so my response to the ad would be to just not buy J&J products. i didn't think it was neccesary to contact the national press over a shitty ad.

It reminds me of Suave's most recent ad compaign:"99% of moms say they have let themselves go. 100% can get it back." PR people seem to think that moms think very poorly of themselves!

Some were concerned that the ad would convince women to NOT try babywearing. But Seriously, how many women out there make decisions on parenting issues based on ads? Not me! Give us a little credit!!

Laura said...

I so agree with you on this one...I for one used a few different types of slings and carriers and well, frig, I did at times get sore and stiff...Chill out everyone - chalk it up to poor segment marketing!

OHmommy said...

I have seen far more offensive things out there.

I am not jumping on board. I have many other things on my mind.

Catherine said...

Amen.

I just didn't like her tone. But not so much as to actually *do* anything about it.

No Mother Earth said...

Saw the ad, but have not read about the fury. Thought it was kind of silly (the casting especially - was that girl 13 years old? Shouldn't we be somewhat concerned that the mother sounded like a teen?) but I didn't think the ad was intrinsically offensice. Mostly, it was just forgettable.

petite gourmand said...

yikes- I just watched it and really I don't see what the big deal is?
I do know that I really needed Motrin when my wrist would swell up after carrying lulu all day when she was a wee one.
and my lower back too for that matter.
Damn baby bijorn...
I get what they were trying to say- not sure what all the fuss is about.

Aunt Becky said...

Que massive loud eye-rolling from me. Toward the people flipping out about it. What a stupid thing to get worked up over. I agree with one of the other commentors: isn't there something more intelligent for us to get worked up over?

MOST ads are stupid and annoying. This was no real exception.

wheelsonthebus said...

i'm with you. i had the same reaction.

Kyla said...

Nope, not just you. I'm hiding from the rotten fruit, too. LOL.

Vered - MomGrind said...

This is exactly why I stayed out of it.

Holly said...

*scratching head*

I'm sorry, did I miss something? I really don't get what the hulabaloo is about. Honestly people, knickers are getting all tied up for no reason nowadays. Sad.

Leanne said...

Yep. I thought the ad was cute, and said so. I still have the fruit in my hair. It smells nice though!

Stephanie said...

No fruit here either. I totally agree with yo on this one. I watched it all unfolding wondering if there was something I was missing.

organicyogamom said...

I'm the only one who posted here who disagrees with you - not about perhaps things got huge way fast - but I did and still do think the ad is offensive. I found it condescending and to me stating that baby wearing makes me cry is just horrible. I guess I find it a bit like people asking me to nurse in the bathroom. Not the same things but offensive all the same.

So apparently I'll be getting the fruit! But i don't mind!

Elaine A. said...

I just found the ad a little condescending and wrought with bad judgement and I don't think ANY brand should do that to ANY group of people. That's all, I'm done. : )

Ellyn said...

Guess my weekend was too busy. I totally missed this. Out of touch again. That's me.

Renée aka Mekhismom said...

I was offended by the ad and promptly responded to it by email. And I was involved in the initial twitterstorm over the ad.

Personally I was offended by the suggestion that I wear my child to be "cool" Women have been wearing babies for centuries and not suffered back pain. Carrying the child correctly = no back pain.

While babywearing is becoming "more" commonplace I don't see people doing it everyday. And when I carry my son on my back I am more worried about people's perception of me than about being cool.

So yes I was offended and yes I posted about it. Motrin took the course of action that I hoped for and I am over it.

The End.

P.S. and btw Mom Bloggers do get behind other causes. We have raised money for education, tomorrow on twitter a Girls Night Out is being held to raise money for the hungry, and there are numerous other efforts going on.

b*babbler said...

Honestly, I thought that "controversy" was ridiculous also, and agree with you completely. (Especially vis-a-vis the using of our power judiciously.)

When we get this upset over a (rather dumb) ad, that I personally though was meant to be tongue in cheek, it undermines our efforts on SERIOUS issues.

~Swankymama said...

I was on a girl's trip this weekend. Haven't heard a thing about it. Guess I'll go google now. :o)

Mandy said...

Well, I did post about it on my blog...not to hitch a bandwagon, although I guess any post about what happened probably appears that way now, but that it honestly amazed me how so many voices were heard round the blogosphere all at once. I guess the "power of the blog" thing, if you will. I'm not a baby-wearer and I take Motrin every night for arthritis. And neither of those is likely to change soon. But I do understand your post completely.

Good job for voicing your opinion even when it might be unpopular. i respect that immensley.

BethanyA said...

I am with you- the ad struck me as lame, poorly written and just plain odd but not something to get all fighting mad about.

And honestly, I will still buy Motrin because it works really well.

for a different kind of girl said...

I didn't even see the actual ad until 5:30 p.m., today when I saw it linked in another person's post on this subject. I sighed. Then I wondered if I could stand around with you.

Awesome Mom said...

It was a dumb ad. I hate it when people assume that all moms are trying to be popular and cool. I gave that up before I was even out of my teen years. I wear my kids because it is more comfortable for me and them. I cloth diaper when it works for me and when it does not I don't. I am not going to get all worked up but then I never bought brand name painkillers in the first place.

Parent Club said...

I heard about it...but didn't care to watch it, research it, or make my own opinion.

I don't buy motrin - so it won't affect my spending habits.

There are more important things in Mom life than an ad by a big pharm. company...

Whitenoise said...

I guess I should get out of the daddy-blogger circles every now and again, 'cause I'd never heard of it until now. You're right. Over-kill. Over-reaction. Go blog for world peace or something.

VickiZ said...

The mom blogosphere is an undeniably powerful and vocal demographic. The Motrin thing shows that power for awareness and good wasted on something pretty damned trivial. I wish it could be mobilized for something like this:

http://www.mothersonlinemovement.ca

It's not pretty stuff, but oh, the power of moms could so help with the healing on this one.

Karen MEG said...

I couldn't believe the responses (sheer volume) over that lame ad either. I caught it at the end...if I were still in the baby slinging stage, I might have taken more offence. I did take offence to her voice, though, the tone sounded so "valley girl" and rather annoying.

It was a dumb ad, but then a lot of people are talking about it. Sometimes any attention is better than none?

Oh, and re: your comment on my post, I thought you were the coolest mom that I know... now I KNOW that you are, ha-ha ;).

Helen E.M. Wright said...

like Cheri, I am totally out of the loop but I do have to agree with you about the whole jumping on the band wagon. I'm surrounded by those types and it's not pretty!!

Just Janice said...

My origianl opinion was like yours. Now I have another opinion - it's up on my blog, though you probably saw most of it over on G&M in the comments section today.

mama's got moxie said...

i so agree with you!! :) just imagine what would happen if mom bloggers got together on REAL issues.

Gail said...

Not having a television has many advantages, this being one of them.

Then again, in an indirect way Motrin got a non-TV owner to watch a Motrin advert on YouTube. That's marketing for you...

kgirl said...

"The moms who are followers of Dr. Sears (aka the attachment parenting people) are nazis about what is good vs. what is bad for your baby."


ouch. yikes. the motrin ad? meh. but that, up there? where are we to rally against real generalizations and offensive messages?

common mom said...

Didn't even know about the ad. There are so many other more important things to get worked up about. All these people did by voicing all their opinions about this was get the ad more attention than it would have gotten otherwise.

Backpacks are bad for your back and neck, too - oh and purses - and snowboarding and skiing and waterskiing when you're old and out of shape ... let's attack any ad that suggests you take Motrin for that as well.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Seriously, I was going to post on this too!

Ten years ago I wore my first child--I had the first Bjorn and I was the only one who did it. I did it thanks to colic.

I wore all my kids and I think the controversy is beyond lame. Who cares? There are much bigger issues out there...

Indy said...

Totally agree with you. The ad stunk anyway and I never wore a sling. Bad ad campaign.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I am ever so late to the party. I was compelled to watch the ad. Umm, what was the fuss? Does anyone really think moms are such idiots that they won't wear slings because of a commercial?

The comment thread here was actually more interesting. Jozet's right on about the stereotypes. This is from a former sling-wearing, non-family bed, Ferberizing, year-long nursing mom.

Also, Happy Bday to you and your beautiful boy, much sadness over your former classmate (my stepsis has Lupus and has had 2 strokes before age 30--it's a terrible disease) and I'm making that soup very soon.

Reluctant Housewife said...

I totally missed this!

I can see why it would offend some parents - especially those who are passionate about baby wearing... because, you know, they're passionate. But I think it's just kind of goofy and ineffective. I don't think the ad comes off like a mom talking about baby wearing, to tell the truth. The tone is off or something. I don't relate to it. So, yeah.

And I used a front baby carrier and then, when my boys were bigger, a backpack. Didn't hurt my back, neck or shoulders... But then, I'm of hardy peasant stock.

kia (good enough mama) said...

Agreed. 100%. 'Nuff said.