Came across OB’s very personal apology this morning and had to play along. (You should too – it’s pretty catchy.) I went into it thinking 1, “what did OB do?” (I hadn’t heard), and 2, “why in the world would a brand call attention to something negative it did that it’s target market may not even know about?” (turns out I was actually not their target market – this was about Canada, but still, from what I’ve read those folks weren’t even aware). After playing along, I immediately searched “what is OB sorry for” (I was not the only one – good blog post here about the campaign).
So you don’t have to do the search yourself, here’s the scoop: OB tampons have been missing from the shelves of stores in Canada for a few months. They are slowly being restocked now. That’s about it. Was the apology on par with the mistake? I don’t think so. It’s a little over the top to create what had to be a pretty costly music video with some pretty cool digital enhancements to apologize for something very few people were upset about, and a mistake that did not cost anyone life, limb, or libel.
But is it marketing genius? Well, it’s probably the least amount of marketing dollars Johnson & Johnson has spent on the OB brand in years that has achieved this kind of bang for the buck. So on that end, yes, probably so. But for some reason it leaves a bad taste in my mouth – like the whole thing was created for the very marketing bang it’s getting. If you do something wrong, apologize – and hey, if you can make it stick in people’s mind along the way, more power to you. But let the punishment fit the crime – otherwise it feels a little slimy.