Over the weekend, Motrin launched an advertising campaign that has raised a strong backlash in the blogosphere. By yesterday, they had pulled the ad. In a nutshell, the story is that the Motrin ad campaign talked about the pain resulting from “wearing your children” in a carrying pouch type of device. Many moms took offense to the ad and labeled it as insulting and condescending. We’re not going to get into the fray with this- it’s not our place. If you want to read up on it here are some of the top links: Mashable Twitter Search Marketing Magic Blog Marketing Pilgrim
How to Avoid Social Media Headaches
Could being more deeply involved in social media have prevented this catastrophe for Motrin? Let’s look at the advantages of that:
- An open communications channel with your client base and specifically with the target group.
- The ability to detect and react more quickly to adverse news.
- Having established a dialog with thought leaders before bad news breaks.
- Having staff familiar with the “lay of the land” in the social media sphere.
- Being ready and available to communicate when thought leaders like Bloggers have questions.
It’s not likely that simply being involved in social media would prevent the problems that Motrin had. But having a good social media base to work from may have allowed Motrin to do some things differently to avert the problem. Our ad experts tell us that any good strategy and concepts get tested thoroughly before launching, but it appears that this one somehow missed its mark. One solution is to use Focus Groups to test your advertising campaign before its launched.
An alternative available for Motrin and other brands looking gain a better understanding of their target market is Ripple6′s new Social Insights service. This innovation allows brands to establish online consumer research groups within existing social networks. These are focus groups that exist within the online communities that people visit every day. Unlike other online focus group technologies, Ripple6 creates these groups directly inside the community that users know and where they have an established comfort level.. It’s a more natural environment for the user, so it leads to a freer, more open and honest discussion for both parties. It also leads to deeper insights to the preferences and opinions of members. Just the kind of thing that might have headed off this posse at the pass.. For more information visit this page, or download our handy PDF brochure.
What do you think Motrin could have done to prevent this from happening?
November 13, 2008
McLEAN, VA – Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) has acquired Ripple6, Inc., a leading provider of social media services. Ripple6 will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Gannett and will continue to offer its best of breed social media technology and analytics not only to Gannett but also to an array of top tier marketers and Web publishers. Terms were not disclosed.
“From the moment we began working with Ripple6, we realized we had found a company that is richly innovative and can change the way social media is offered and monetized online,” said Craig Dubow, chairman, president and CEO of Gannett. “Ripple6 will join our other enterprises in fueling the rapid growth of our digital business, which seeks to apply innovative technology and content solutions to the needs of all our customers. With the Ripple6 platform, we can help users create communities and connect with their friends and family in highly pleasing ways, while providing marketers with innovative advertising opportunities and measurable results.”
Ripple6 currently powers Gannett’s MomsLikeMe.com sites, which recently rolled out in 80 local markets across the country and have more than one million moms visiting each month. The company also powers social media properties for Procter & Gamble and the soon to be launched MixingBowl.com, Meredith Corporation’s social network around meals and meal planning. Ripple6 will continue to offer its solutions to third party publishers independent of Gannett.
“We’re excited, because we get the best of both worlds here,” said Sang Kim, CEO of Ripple6. “We’ll take advantage of the synergy and resources of our new parent, yet we’ll maintain the independence that helps generate innovative solutions for marketers and publishers.”
Using the Ripple6 platform, publishers can offer their users advanced social networking capabilities, while generating incremental revenue through Ripple6’s proprietary social marketing innovations. Ripple Analytics will also help publishers better understand how their users interact within social networks by offering a true word of mouth measurement and mapping capability.
Ripple6 also offers unique opportunities to advertisers and marketers. Among their innovations are offerings that make it possible for marketers to effectively engage in online social networks. Cloud Communities™ enable marketers to participate in their customers’ existing social networks by creating and syndicating communities across the web. With Social Insights™, marketers can conduct ongoing research within the private spaces of social networks. Both solutions include Ripple Analytics for access to metrics and insights beyond page views and visitors, while still protecting the privacy of the individuals interacting with the platform.
“We’ve had a highly productive relationship with Ripple6, and we look forward to continuing it in their new structure,” said Pat Gentile, head of Procter & Gamble Productions, Inc. “We’ve been impressed by their innovations in social marketing and the insights that they can deliver for marketers.”
As part of the transaction, the 10 percent share of Ripple6 owned by Chris Saridakis, senior vice president and chief digital officer of Gannett, was bought out completely by Gannett. He did not participate in the sale negotiations.
Gannett Co., Inc. is a leading international news and information company that publishes 85 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. The company also owns nearly 900 non-daily publications in the USA and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest is the United Kingdom’s second largest regional newspaper company. Newsquest publishes 17 daily paid-for titles, approximately 300 weekly newspapers, magazines and trade publications, and a network of award-winning Web sites. Gannett also operates 23 television stations in the United States and is an Internet leader with sites sponsored by its TV stations and newspapers including USATODAY.com, one of the most popular news sites on the Web.
About Ripple6, Inc.
Ripple6™ helps marketers and publishers implement their business strategy through social media. The company provides an enterprise white label social media platform to create consumer engagements and relationships, enable social marketing, generate consumer insights, and facilitate commerce and collaboration. It is easily customized to incorporate a brand’s look and feel for integration into an existing web site or to create an entirely new site. Ripple6 is based in New York and its list of clients and partners includes Procter & Gamble, Gannett Co., Meredith Corporation, and General Mills. For more information, visit www.ripple6.com.
Vice president of Corporate Communications
Posted by Sang Kim on November 13th, 2008
From Sang Kim, CEO, Ripple6
Today I am happy to announce that Ripple6 has agreed to be acquired by Gannett Co., Inc., one of the world’s leading international news and information companies. Moving forward, we’ll be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gannett that continues to operate independently.
Wow. So what does this mean?
It’s a big step, for sure. As an entrepreneur who founded the company, I think it presents us with the best of both worlds – and a tremendous opportunity. Here’s why.
First, we’ll continue to operate independently. That means the nimble, innovative culture that drives a start-up can continue. It’s that sort of culture that makes us come to work and develop the solutions focused on thriving online communities that attract members and marketers alike. That’s the fun part. We still get to (and need to) run a successful company.
And it also means that we’ve got the support and resources of a Fortune 500 company to back it up. Sure, that means peace of mind to a lot of people, but most importantly to the clients who come to us looking for help with social technologies. They’ll be much more assured that when we talk about how social media and marketing will beget social insights, commerce and collaboration, Ripple6 will be there down the road to help them implement their social business strategies.
We’ll have great synergies with Gannett, not just to help their properties make the most of social media, but to use our platform as a launching pad for collaboration with others. Last May, we held our first Partner Summit, and it became a starting point for our clients — enterprise marketers and publishers — to talk about syndicating micro-communities across the web. That’s the beginning. Today’s social media services and analytics will drive tomorrow’s social insights, new revenue models and marketing innovation.
Today, we feel Ripple6 is even better positioned to be your social media partner. We’re a growing business with a distinct and scalable technology. We’re continuing to scale up for the challenge, which is a good thing in this economy, so if you’re looking for a position, we’re looking for people.
We’re all extremely excited and pleased with this decision and we’ll keep our sleeves rolled up for you. Feel free to tell us what you think.
The full news release is found here