Johnson & Johnson's 'Camp Baby': Great Customer Relationship Management or Public Relations Fiasco?

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG196
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 2007-2008
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Johnson & Johnson
Industry : Healthcare/ Consumer Healthcare
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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“I've been working hard over the past few years to better understand how to work with bloggers and others in this changing media landscape. To me, it's all about figuring out how to start having two way conversations. That way not only do others get to learn from me, but I can learn more about them – and about what they are looking for… As we considered such two-way communications, me and my colleagues got to thinking about summer camps. Sitting around campfires, telling stories, sharing news. That's where some of the best, most intense conversations can take place… So we struck upon the idea of creating our own camp – Johnson's Camp Baby.”1

- Lori Dolginoff, Global Communications Director at Johnson & Johnson and the Camp Baby organizer, in 2008.

“These companies'attraction to social media in part reflects the wane of TV's reach and influence... With moms in particular, word-of-mouth marketing is useful in that it provides feedback for products.”2

- Brandweek3, in 2008.

“It was an uncharacteristic misstep for the marketing-savvy company… [The] Camp Baby flap illustrates how even the ablest companies can falter when trying to build relationships with customers in the digital age.”4

The Star-Ledger5, in 2008.

Camp Babygate?

On April 2, 2008, US-based Johnson & Johnson (J&J), one of the largest healthcare companies in the world organized a unique event called 'Camp Baby'at its headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey6.7 The three day event was designed especially for parenting community, where 56 most influential mommy bloggers8 from the US participated.

The purpose of the exclusive free camp was to provide an opportunity for the mommy bloggers and the company to know each other better on a common platform and to develop a long lasting relationship.

Johnson & Johnson's 'Camp Baby': Great Customer Relationship Management or Public Relations Fiasco? - Next Page>>

1] Lori Dolginoff, “Camp Baby,”, March 19, 2008.
2] Betsy Cummings, “J&J Takes Baby Steps toward Social Media,”, April 14, 2008.
3] Brandweek is a popular weekly marketing trade publication in the US.
4] Jeff May, “J&J Sees Potential in Blogger Power,”, May 3, 2008.
5] The Star-Ledger is a Newark-based newspaper.
6] New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern region of the US.
7] “Johnson & Johnson Invited Me to Baby Camp!”, April 7, 2008.
8] Blog or Weblog refers to website maintained by individuals, and updated regularly, with comments, descriptions etc. Blogger is a person who posts blogs. Mommy bloggers are mothers from various backgrounds who share their experiences about motherhood and various other aspects of life in their blogs.


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