Jamie Oliver's U.S. reality show should be tasty for advertisers

Posted on Mon May 11 2009

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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

Will the real Wynonna Judd, supersize or not, please stand up?

Posted on Tue Mar 24 2009

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It's one of the most reliable ways to market a weight loss product: show "before" and "after" photos of the subject, with the former being a supersized version of the svelte latter. Throw in some extra sculpting via Photoshop, and voila! Dramatic results!
  But in Wynonna Judd's campaign for GlaxoSmithKline's Alli, which is which? A blog called Pharma Marketing asks, rather indelicately, if the country singer's image has been altered so she appears somewhat slim on the cover of her new record, Sing, while she looks considerably heavier in ads and promotional materials for the over-the-counter diet aid. (The CD is a gift with purchase of Alli. Some 200,000 copies are being packaged with starter kits and refills of the product this spring.) If the record photo is the "after," then Alli has a really strong hook. It works! Judd has said, "I hope that I can inspire people to be better ... that they can see themselves in me and say, 'If she can do it, I can do it.' " But did she do it without a digital nip/tuck? Only the tour will tell.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

With nothing to lose, Wynonna Judd endorses Glaxo's diet pill

Posted on Tue Jan 13 2009

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While Zone Delivery is ridiculing celebrities who have trouble with their weight, another weight-loss brand has just hired one.
  GlaxoSmithKline has signed up country-music superstar Wynonna Judd—who's battled weight problems for years—to endorse alli, the first FDA-approved, over-the-counter, all-lower-case diet pill. The singer has begun appearing in TV and print ads from Arnold in New York (see one ad here), in which she tells how alli helped her pursue healthier food choices in life. "Absolutely the most important reason I chose alli was because it's FDA approved," she says in the ads. "I can't recommend that people take something I'm not willing to take myself. I had to be able to say, it's okay to take alli. It's safe."
  Judd is the first celebrity to hawk the pill since it became available to the public in June 2007. "Wynonna and alli decided to partner because we share the same philosophy about weight loss—that it's not just about weight, it's about changing your relationship with food," says Rachel Ferdinando, vp of weight control for GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Zone Delivery suddenly obsessed with celebrities' weight gain

Posted on Tue Jan 13 2009

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Too chintzy to hire a svelte celebrity to sell your weight-loss regimen? Then follow Zone Delivery USA's lead and make fun of the fat celebs for free!
  The diet company sent around a press release this week listing the "Biggest Gainers of 2008," complete with portly pictures of Joaquin Phoenix, Mariah Carey, Oprah Winfrey, Matthew Perry and Jennifer Love Hewitt (who actually, according to the tabs—not that we read them—has since lost her chub status). "While stars around them were cutting back, these five celebs packed on the pounds," the release so kindly pointed out.
  When you're selling meal plans that start at $26.95 per day, does it really make sense to poke fun at celebrities? These days, they might be the only ones who can afford what you're selling.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp


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