Ragu Making News for all the Wrong Reasons

If you’re not the guy (or girl) who runs the Ragu Twitter account, then you’re probably having a comparatively awesome day. Nobody has accused you of being a dad-hating sexist—yet.

We all remember the “funny” commercials portraying dad as the slightly inept guy who lives in the house and always defers to mom’s judgment. While those ads may have missed the mark, the latest Ragu tweet campaigns and YouTube video are so far off that they are in an entirely different universe.

They are also definitely not funny. At all.

Where Ragu first went wrong was this YouTube video. It’s two minutes and 10 seconds of moms talking about what happens when dad cooks. Hint: it’s nothing good…unless he uses Ragu sauce.

Next, @RaguSauce tweeted (spammed) a link to this video to a bunch of (rather influential) dads using about the same message for each. If you guessed that, next, these dads got a little angry…then you’d be right.

Their attempt to be cute, clever and insightful was DOA because their means of communication wasn’t well thought out. Nobody on Twitter wants to see that you said the exact same thing to a bunch of other people; this is doubly true when the message is disparaging to your gender.

Throughout all of this, Ragu has remained quiet. Not a peep. That could be the nail in their coffin. Even if you cross the line with your message and how you distribute it—even if you really tick people off—you’ve got be around to catch heat for it. Ragu is nowhere in sight to comment on their snafu.

I’m sure somebody somewhere thought this video and Twitter campaign were a good idea. All they really want is for families to start using Ragu and be healthy. But in the end, some extremely poor planning and judgment turned what could have been a “meh” effort into one everybody is talking about.

In a bad way.

For social media, lead generation or advertising services, think Abstrakt Marketing Group.

  1. Ragu Brand Team
    Ragu Brand Team says:

    Thanks for your take on this, Shannon. We did respond the following morning and talked with our more vocal opponent directly. We then took part in an active discussion here http://blog.customscoop.com/mb/2011/09/ragu-dads-and-lessons-learned-for-communicators-and-bloggers.html

    For those new to the story, one video from our series of episodes was sent via Twitter to six Dad bloggers. Two took offense to Mom bloggers featured in this specific video talking about what happens when Dad cooks. We should have known better than to send a video without the proper context, since our intent was to bring dads into the fold for real dinnertime talk – and that’s what the Ragu social communities stand for.

    We put out videos every few weeks on various dinnertime topics that are generated from discussions we see on our Facebook page. We listen to our community and give our Mom bloggers the platform to share their tips, advice and opinions.

    You can read our full story here: http://on.fb.me/nSN2ul.