Dorothy Crenshaw December 6, 2011 | 02:31:53

o.b.’s Apology PR Campaign Is Pitch-Perfect

Maybe it should have known better than to tangle with women at, well, a certain time of the month.

After J&J began to discontinue its o.b. Ultra line of tampons, its loyal users felt betrayed. The brand was smacked with  infuriated customer comments, “girlcott” threats, an online petition and general user crankiness. But instead of defensiveness, or a by-the-book apology, the brand went one better.

Make that miles better. o.b. took advantage of the potential of customizable video with a hilarious, relevant, and compulsively shareable mea culpa called “Triple Sorry.” All you need to do is type in your first name to be serenaded with a soulful, over-the-top apology ballad, belted out by a central-casting boyfriend behind a white grand piano on the beach. Just for you. And thousands of your best girlfriends.

We talk about wooing customers, but this gives new meaning to the term “consumer engagement.” The video reminds me of the brilliant “Flight of the Conchords” in that it perfectly satirizes the cheesy, overindulgent music video, complete with doves, rainbows, and personalized skywriting. Sure, we’ve seen this gimmick before, but when the singer croons your name in a husky whisper, you can’t help but giggle.

It’s possibly the best apology a girl could want. It’s so pitch-perfect, in fact, that I nearly forgot the main thing, which is that the brand has pledged to bring back the Ultra line and never again to leave its faithful customers wanting.  A downloadable product coupon sweetens the promise.

“Triple Sorry” is a social media and marketing home run. As every funny guy knows, women will forgive a lot if you make us laugh. Call me lovestruck, but the brand’s use of the medium, and of humor, is pretty irresistible. It has me convinced its customers will not only forgive o.b.’s formerly callous treatment of them, but forget the past and recommit to the brand. That’s true romance.

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