Not sure how we missed this when the news broke last December, but we’re thankful to our friends at Fletcher PR for keeping us in the loop, via a Tweet that referenced the following blog post they wrote about it. We’re pleased to share their summary of the “mea culpa” lengths a brand will go to after suffering the wrath of armies of female consumers.
Female consumers in the U.S. and Canada have gotten an extra special apology in the form of a marketing campaign from o.b. Tampons. The brand, under the parent company of Johnson & Johnson, was off the shelves in the U.S. and Canada last year, but returned this year, minus its Ultra line. The plan was to discontinue Ultra, but the company never expected what happened next.
Loyal fans of the feminine hygiene product became outraged, buying up all the boxes of o.b. Ultra they could find. Remaining boxes were even selling on Ebay for as much as $80. Some of the fans created a website and called for women to boycott all J&J products.
After all that, the company took notice. There are currently announcements on both the U.S. and Canadian versions of the brand’s website promising plans to bring the Ultra products back. In the meantime, disgruntled fans can experience a personalized apology, in the form of an online music video. Viewers are able to input their names and the hunky crooner in the video will serenade you while your name is written in the sky, in rose petals on the beach and inside a heart tattoo on his arm.
This is a great example of a company listening to its audience and responding to what the market asks for. The video will probably go viral and thus more people are hearing about the issue, as well as how J&J stepped up to address it.
FletcherPR is a national communications firm that specializes in reaching women through the power of media. Headquartered in Knoxville, TN with staff in Nashville & Los Angeles, they are a full-service agency providing strategic public relations, social media and marketing communications services to clients throughout the U.S. Follow them on Twitter here.
Update: If you are an o.b. Ultra user, as of today – June 20, 2012 – we hear the tampons are due back on shelves this summer in early July.
PS: Although we have no o.b. users in our office, we checked out the apology video anyway and agree that it’s pretty hilarious. We also think the personalization technology that the J&J/o.b. marketing people used is brilliant! In addition to the super cool WYSK arm tattoo the video’s balladeer sported on his arm for us, look at all the other grand gesture visual vehicles they used to deliver their personal apology to us… and we weren’t even mad at them. So much fun!