O.B. sends a personal apology

The Johnson & Johnson brand sends its regrets about a distribution problem through a personalized video with the help of Lowe Roche.

Johnson & Johnson tampon brand O.B. is truly sorry, and it wants its consumers to feel that they’ve received a personal apology.

After a distribution problem last year, consumers found the shelves that stocked the brand empty for a period of time. So O.B. is now responding with the help of its agency Lowe Roche, which has created a tailored video that was emailed out to O.B.’s database of about 65,000 consumers. The ladies, typically aged 18 to 35, can write in their name and then watch a personalized music video, featuring a studly singer who sings to them directly.

The quality of the video, its cheeky satirical nature and the seamless integration of the personalization element has meant that the video has started to go viral, appearing on various blogs, before its official launch.

“Early indication is that it’s going to spread quite quickly,” says Shelley Kohut, director of communications and PR at Johnson & Johnson. “We’re really pleased with it, but a little surprised in that we haven’t launched the campaign yet,” she adds, noting that there has been no other media planned aside from the emails, which were sent out today.

To make the personalization flawless, Lowe Roche worked with sound production company Keen Music, which built tools for reconstructing and seamless playback on the web, so it seemed like the video was created with each visitor in mind.

“It’s a unique brand, and people either really love it and are loyal to it, or they just don’t quite get it,” says Kohut, “so I think apologizing in a way that’s a little over the top but does come across as being sincere [makes sense]. Most importantly, it’s personal, and that’s the part about it that we hope our consumers will appreciate the most.”

Perhaps turning an apology into an opportunity for creativity and positive PR is set to become a new trend, given the success that James Ready had with its “Cap Recall” program last year.