Saying sorry in style: A lesson from O.B.

“I’m sorry.” We learn the importance of this simple phrase when we’re in preschool; however, when times get tough, companies often forget how that two-word phrase can help them restore relationships with customers and key publics. However, o.b. just issued a world-class apology to all of its faithful users in an amazingly creative (and if I may, effective) way.

O.b. issues a unique apology; image courtesy of mysavings.com

O.b. says they’re “really, really, really sorry” for taking their products off the shelves and wants to issue a personalized apology to each customer — and they mean it. I’m not an o.b. user (though I might be after this), but I wanted an apology, so I typed in my name to see what would happen. What I got in return was a song which the L.A. times says, “featuring every cheesy cliche in the book: young, unshaven cute guy; a white piano on the bluffs; a live dove and rose petals.” Hey, I’ll take it. (Get your own o.b. apology here.)

If you didn’t know, Johnson & Johnson’s o.b. was apologizing for an undefined production disruption, which caused the products to slowly disappear from shelves beginning last fall. The company has an Apple-like cult following, since they are applicator-free, making them a more environmentally friendly choice. Women began clamoring for boxes of o.b. and some reports claim that they were being sold on ebay for upwards of $100. Although the product finally came back onto shelves last spring, the Ultras were still not back — until now.

So, they apologized in the form of a song. They didn’t make excuses or try to pitch reporters with a cliche apology. Instead, they put their customers first, apologized the best way they could, and offered them a coupon for their next purchase. (Oops, sorry for ruining the surprise, but if you get to the end of the video, you’ll get your coupon too!)

What are your thoughts on the o.b. apology? Are there any other companies/brands who have issued creative apologies to their consumers?

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About Abby Ecker

PR pro and healthy living blogger in the First State
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