Monday, January 4

Weight Watchers and Oprah

It's the first of January, so of course it's the season to talk about new year's resolutions which always includes weight loss.

I know my gym was packed packed packed this morning; at 5:30am no less. Most of the year there's only a dozen people there at that hour and today there were three times that amount. And all I hear from everyone is cutting back...on food and booze.

I can relate, I'm pulling back too to get rid of an excess ten or fifteen! So I skipped the bagel and added an extra thirty on the treadmill this morning. 'Tis the season!

Which is why I don't really mind seeing all of the weight loss advertising hit the online and offline waves this time of year. I find it kind of inspiring. Helps me to drop the carbs and add the cardio.

But even I was shocked to see Oprah jump into the action for Weight Watchers.

Oprah a Weight Watchers spokesperson?!? Hail to the Queen!

My first reaction was, "WOW how did they get her?" And then my second reaction was "WOW that could be a bit risky."

Let's be honest, this isn't Oprah's first attempt at weight loss nor is it mine. She has a documented history of going up and down with "this time being the one." So both Oprah and Weight Watchers is taking a bit of a chance on this one. What if she doesn't lose the weight? What if it bounces right back?

If that happens, what would it say about the brand and about her?

Honestly, it says a lot. The risk is real but so is the struggle. Bravo to them both for taking a high stakes approach to show how to get to a healthy weight. It may not work, because that's just how life is. But with the right approach and a lot of inspirational help, maybe it just will this time.

Hopefully the risk is worth it as it inspires others to do the same.

What do you think? What's your experience? JIM.

UPDATE:  In an interesting turn, Oprah just announced that she is truly buying into the brand with a 10% stake in the company, and a seat on the Board. She's certainly not the first celebrity spokesperson to have ownership in a brand. We've seen it quite a bit in beverages and in beauty care. And in many cases it works. I guess she's banking on her brand power to boost Weight Watchers' brand power.

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