Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fake Empathy Gone Wrong

I woke up this morning to several tweets about a new ad appearing on Motrin's website. The ad campaign attempts to empathize with moms, saying "we feel your pain." Great concept, extremely poor execution. The ad at the center of the mounting controversy has a voiceover of a "mom" talking about how much of a pain it is to wear your baby and how she does it for her child, but only because it is fashionable and/or "supposedly" good for them.

Really? Generations of women across the globe have been wearing their babies for fashion? The countless women today that wear their babies do so based upon the idea that it is "supposedly" good for them? Really? You feel my pain as a mother?

I think not. Countless studies have shown real, measurable (i.e. proven) benefits to wearing your child. Even if there were NO scientific evidence that wearing your child was beneficial for the child I would wear my children. I wear them to be close to them, I wear them to comfort them, I wear them to comfort myself, I wear them because it is more convenient that a stroller, I wear them because it is easier than lugging around a baby in an infant seat, I wear them because I love them...I could go on.

I do not wear them because of scientific research (although it is nice when studies prove what moms have known all along). I do not wear them because it is fashionable (although we are blessed that mainstream culture has found it acceptable and that has increased the choices we have for carriers and accessories).

Motrin hasn't shown empathy, they have just ticked us off. Do you need proof of that? This morning when I first heard about this ad, other moms on Twitter were tagging their tweets with #motrinmoms. Curious, I googled motrinmoms (ironically as I was trying to decide which carrier to take with me to church) and got 50 results. This afternoon I refreshed my earlier google search and found 1,390 results. I think there is even a Facebook page now!

I hope that the ad execs get a virtual hailstorm of responses from us. I want to say that someone deserves a bad day tomorrow, but alas, nobody deserves a bad day. I just hope this is a learning experience!

I am proud of all of the moms and dads out there who have reacted to this ad. I hope that our responses will send a clear message to Motrin. We aren't idiots, don't insult us by treating us like idiots. Does my back hurt after a long day spent carrying my child in a carrier? Yes (how badly depends on the carrier). But to suggest that I do it for fashion or because there are merely supposed benefits is insulting.

1 comment:

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