Look out, Oklahoma City, Miami and El Paso. You might get your Hollywood close-up because you're among the fattest cities in the country. But what should be your shame could end up being a boon to marketers, especially ones hawking healthy products.
There's a new reality show in the works for ABC that will make over some of the country's fast-food-addicted exercise-averse locales. (Miami, according to the widely referenced 10 Fattest Cities report in Men's Fitness, has 141 percent more ice-cream shops than the average place; only 17 percent of Oklahoma City residents eat their fruits and veggies; and public recreation areas are practically nonexistent in El Paso.) The show, from Ryan Seacrest Productions, is an outgrowth of chef Jamie Oliver's series in which he reformed some school lunchrooms in the U.K. Oliver will attempt a similar feat with entire U.S. cities known for their sedentary, overweight populaces.
Since happy-ending reality shows are a hot spot for brand integration, look for a gaggle of marketers to try to squeeze into the as-yet-unnamed series. They'll have some serious catching up to do, seeing as NBC's The Biggest Loser usually tops the recall charts for embedded marketers like Kraft, Subway and Quaker. Any way you slice it, pounds shed + lives changed = buff brands.
—Posted by T.L. Stanley