Relationship Media Example: Motrin, A Brand Behind a Wall

by Joe on November 17, 2008

I don’t want to rehash the story about Motrin, since it has been reported too many times. I saw it first from Dave Knox last night, then Jeremiah Owyang provided great details and analysis, and Bob Gilbreath gave a great explanation of the lack of meaning/value in TV spots.  In lieu of repeating what everyone else has said, I want to focus on how this groundswell is an example of how media has changed from the old presentation media to the new relationship media.  This analysis is especially important with the context of Motrin’s response on

What is Relationship Media?

Relationship Media is all media now that social media is involved.  Any piece of content (video, text or audio) is now able to generate feedback via any number of outlets available on the Internet.  This feedback enables people to interact and have interactions with the media.  In some instances, these interactions can start small and grow exponentially. This phenomenon is called a Groundswell. 

When these interactions are positive they have very positive results for the content’s owner and tend to be called viral or word of mouth marketing.  When these interactions are negative they can are generally unwieldy and hard to control, and leave content owners sitting on the sidelines as millions see their content destroyed and relevant google search results overrun with negative comments about their content.

These interactions among people about media explain the concept of Relationship Media.

Where are Motrin’s Relationships?

A 30 second shock presentation/TV spot has a larger chance to offend than does relationship building using tools for little cost. Motrin would have been smart to engage their community about their ideas behind the ads and do real life consumer research using listening techniques through twitter search and RSS.

As for the offical Motrin response, Seth Godin says: “TV demands that you broadcast. TV demands that you talk at us. It’s the only possible solution.  The web, on the other hand, doesn’t respond as well to that. It responds extremely well to moments of honesty and candor. Real people feeling our pain.”

This is the essence of Relationship Media. Relationship Media is about using your content/media to connect and create moments of authentic interactions with real people. Motrin failed to do it on the front end, and on the back end.

I long for the day where relationships drive marketing and where consumer value and corporate value are sought together.


[…] the past couple weeks I have been monitoring the Relationship Media space where the relationships around content drive traffic and revenue growth.  But as I have viewed the […]

by Joe Budde Jr. » Relationship Revolution: Relationship Focused Businesses on December 17, 2008 at 10:08 am. Reply #

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by Kalyn on October 24, 2016 at 9:38 am. Reply #

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