Monday, January 2

Weight Loss

It began the day after Christmas.  I know because I was feeling particularly stuffed so it hit me right in the face:  weight loss advertising.  The two big guns came racing out of the gates:  Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig, both using big name divas to show how you too can lose weight in the new year.

Nutrisystem launched with a new campaign featuring Janet Jackson.

And Jenny Craig brings forth Mariah Carey.

Given the incredible success of Weight Watchers with Jennifer Hudson, it's no wonder these two mega-brands went with their own mega-stars to try to capture our attention, our waistline, and our wallet.

But I have to tell you that they left me disinterested.  Not so much as a consumer, because I'm not their target.  But as a marketer.  Uninteresting, to tell you the truth, from a marketing and weight loss perspective.

Then just a few days later, on New Year's Eve, Weight Watchers brings back Jennifer Hudson with their new campaign "Believe."  Tons of advertising all through the night and into the next day.  And tons of "product promos" during Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve where the co-hosts asked people in the crowd what they "believe" in.

The notion of believe is quite interesting because in order to lose weight, you have not only believe in the program you are following (and paying for), but you also have to believe in yourself.  Believe that you can do it.

There were several versions of tv spots featuring Jennifer, but one in particular really slammed it home for me.  The "new thin" Jennifer is singing a duet when the "old fatter" Jennifer ... dubbed together.  And they are singing the classic "Believe in You and Me."  And then at the end, Jennifer asks us to "believe" because Weight Watchers works.  Obviously.
It knocked my socks off, I have to say.  And definitely gets my vote for winning the weight loss war this holiday season.  Congrats, Weight Watchers.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect
Professor at NYU

PS - We tend to focus on the women with weight loss campaigns, but Weight Watchers also has a dedicated program for men.  With a great campaign with Charles Barclay.  Very well done.  Some of us men could use a little help too!  "Lose Like A Man"


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