Over on Conversation Agent, Fast Company’s Valeria Maltoni touches on something worth noting.

She discusses the controversial Motrin ad, an online video promoting a pain medication product that sparked uproar last month.

Maltoni connects the outburst to anguish Americans who’ve lost their savings, jobs, and homes are feeling this holiday season:

“The Motrin ad became the catalyst for these sentiments, the social object for people to come together and talk about how badly they felt.”


The most disruptive social objects articulate something masses of people urgently feel, but lack a way to express.

The Motrin ad became symbolic. Like making salt, shoe throwing, and un-pimping autos.

Unfortunately, in Motrin’s case the feelings were fear, anger and despair. The ad was pulled, along with an apologetic email from the company.

Ads are not about products. They’re social objects in themselves.


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Jyri Engestrom
December 22nd, 2008 at 7:07 pm (#)

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