A marketing lesson for senior living from “The View’s” Screwball response to the Miss America Nurse Monologue.

This article is an example of what I am talking about!

If you pay any attention at all to social discourse you know that in the talent segment for Miss America, Kelley Johnson registered nurse and holder of the Miss Colorado title, took an unusual tact. She came out in her nurse’s scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck and talked about taking care of a patient with Alzheimer by the name of Joe:


Two Days Later

On the Monday following Kelley’s monolog, “The View” hosts Joy Behar and Michelle Collins ripped the monolog as not being a legitimate talent performance and mocking her for wearing “a doctors stethoscope.”   

The outrage about these comments was immediate, swift and severe. There was a rapid response apology followed by a show that featured nurses. It wasn’t enough and they have inflicted real damage on themselves.  

The Crazy Cool Part – A Brilliant Marketing Play

This is going to sound a bit cynical . . . and maybe it is.

The most notable fallout from the foolish remarks was that two significant advertisers Johnson & Johnson and Eggland’s Best Eggs announced they appreciated nurses and were going to stop advertising on the show. Further, Johnson & Johnson launched a “We Love Nurses Campaign.”

We value and appreciate nurses and their educational journey, and now you can show your appreciation just by sharing a . . .

Posted by Johnson & Johnson on Thursday, September 17, 2015

I can envision the J & J marketing people sitting around the office after the firestorm erupted and asking themselves how to best exploit this viral event. After much discussion someone says “I have an idea. Let’s announce we are pulling out and launching an I love nurses effort. We are sure to get huge amounts of free publicity for pulling the plug.”

That’s what they did and they are right.

The Senior Living Piggyback

So now comes the fun part. I can see local senior living communities launching their own “Maybe The View Doesn’t Respect Nurses, But We Love Ours” campaign. It could be a tiny thing in a local community or marketplace. It could even be something a regional or national company could do.

The reason for doing this is that massive numbers of people are paying attention to this story and once people are hooked on a story they want more, more, more. It is the kind of focus that you can never pay for, plan for or predict.   

In the publishing world there is a proven idea that if you want to grow an audience, you should write about topics that everyone is already talking about, rather than something no one is talking about or thinking about. It may seem counter-intuitive to be, in effect, less creative, but in reality it means other people . . . or the marketplace is telling you what people are interested in.

Have you ever jumped on a promotional bandwagon like this?

Steve Moran