To recap quickly, Motrin made this ad in the perkidelic voice of a small child’s mother, referring to baby slings as “in fashion” and alluding to back and neck pain resulting from their use. Slinging mothers, outraged at their portrayal, fomented a twitter uprising and got the ad pulled. Already futurist ad gurus are extrapolating New Media rules of engagement from it, and we can expect the usual internet blowhards to weigh in soon.
We can see both sides. On one hand, the ad seems badly researched; “totally makes me look like an official Mom” sounds like something out of Juno, not real life. On the other hand, it’s an ad, not the Dred Scott Decision — why is it important to confront Motrin rather than simply ignore them and their products?
Oh, we see a third side, too. This nontroversy helps fill up time and space in a media universe left barren by the end of an action-packed election season. Our frenetic quick-response typing allows us desk jockeys to feel relevant and thoughtful. At least it beats waiting passively for the falling Dow to drag us into low-end retail jobs.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 17, 2008