Posts Tagged ‘Weight Watchers’

Kim’s eyes on fat paycheck

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Could Kim Kardashian, whose dubious fashion choices have made her pregnancy curves look even larger than life, be teeing herself up for a deal with Weight Watchers?

Industry observers are speculating that the blossoming reality star, who’s due in July with her child with Kanye West, was making a play for a megabucks deal with a weight-loss program to help her lose the baby weight, following in the footsteps of Weight Watchers’ currently pregnant spokeswoman, Jessica Simpson.

Kim has drawn ridicule for strutting around in tight-fitting couture maternity wear, including sky-high heels, snug dresses and A-line skirts. The baffling choices have prompted fashion commentator Amy Tara Koch to quip, “It’s like she’s trying to stuff 5 pounds of baloney into a 1-pound bag.”

Beyonce Shares Her Pregnancy Weight-Loss Secrets
Her size has also giving the celebrity tabloids fodder to publish headlines about the starlet’s ballooning figure, including this priceless kicker from In Touch: “Kim’s 200-lb. Nightmare: I Can’t Stop Eating!”

Did You Diet? Recipies

Kardashian this week tweeted about her unhealthy food cravings, posting photos of french fries and a burger from In-N-Out with a caption: “Damn!!! I spoke too soon! My 1st pregnancy craving! #InNOut #EnjoyingEveryBite.”

It all furthers buzz that Kim is publicly piling on the pounds to nail a weight-loss contract where she’d lose the fat later for a large payday. But a source close to Kardashian insisted, “There is no weight-loss deal on the table,” adding that Kim “loves her outfits. They are stylish and cute.”

A rep for Weight Watchers said that there was “no truth” to rumors it was looking at Kim as a possible spokeswoman.

Kardashian addressed the fat jokes on Jay Leno’s show Thursday night, saying that she’s gained 25 pounds during her pregnancy. But she seemed to be happy in her skin — for now.

“I’ve always been curvy and always embraced my curves, and now there’s more to love,” she said. “ I have the rest of my life to be skinny and to lose weight, and I’m not really worrying about it.” From nypost.

Weight Watchers, Slim-Fast Ditch Diet-Only Focus in Ads

Monday, April 1st, 2013

At Weight Watchers, diet marketing is more about science than sizzle — overt sexual appeals about as welcome as a third helping of pie. Tempting as it might seem, the marketer is just not going there, even as it deals with new competition, including a comeback attempt by Slim-Fast, which this week breaks provocative ads that tout the bedroom benefits of losing weight.

The shifting $38 billion U.S. diet landscape has led to some big changes at Weight Watchers as it fends off upstarts, including free calorie-counting apps. The marketer is adopting a more holistic approach that emphasizes wellness as much as calorie counting. And as talk about the nation’s obesity crisis increases, Weight Watchers is for the first time adding a business-to-business pitch: making direct appeals to corporate clients that are seeking to defray rising health-care costs.

“We are viewing ourselves more and more as a health-care company,” Weight Watchers International President-CEO David Kirchoff said recently during a panel discussion on a study called “The Truth About Wellness,” by McCann, the marketer’s ad agency. As health care moves toward more emphasis on preventative care, “we are positioning ourselves to be good community-based partners,” he said.

Beyonce Shares Her Pregnancy Weight-Loss Secrets

As the 50-year-old company builds its business-to-business sales force, its consumer marketing touts the new “360°” program, which adds lifestyle and environment management to its well-known food-tracking point system. “We have to be in a position where we are helping people establish skills forever that allow them to start living in a consistently healthier way, with the outstanding byproduct of being able to put on a smaller pair of jeans,” Mr. Kirchoff says on a video on the marketer’s website.

Of course, Weight Watchers isn’t above tapping celebrities to show off their thinner bodies in its ads, whether it’s Jessica Simpson twirling in the sun or Jennifer Hudson in tight pants. And the company recently signed up comedian and TV star Ana Gasteyer to appear in ads for its online product in which she spoofs Nat King Cole’s “Orange Colored Sky” and Peggy Lee’s “Fever” with lyrics such as “my arms don’t jiggle when I clap.”

But the marketer is mostly sticking to its roots of emotionally tinged, before-and-after marketing backed by the science of its point system. “We try and take the high ground,” Weight Watchers Senior VP-Marketing Cheryl Callan said. Weight loss is “a highly emotional issue and there are enormous barriers for people to take action and do something. There’s shame, there’s guilt, there’s all sort of feelings that you are dealing with. So to go after the “better sex thing’ seems to cheapen that.”

Slim-Fast apparently has no such fear. The Unilever meal-replacement brand, which has struggled lately, is running a provocative campaign, including print ads in April magazines, that assert folks are more interested in losing weight for purposes of sex rather than health or self-improvement. Running in titles including Self and Allure and created by Bull-Whitehouse, ads feature silhouettes of women expressing their public — and private — reasons for wanting to lose weight. On the left, a word bubble states her fake motivation: “I want to get into my new pants,” while a thought bubble on the right reveals the truth: “I want to get into someone else’s new pants.”

The company declined to comment on the campaign, but it’s obviously aimed at and lifting sales. Slim-Fast liquid sales fell 5.4% in 2012 to $77 million, although it still controls a leading 40.8% of the liquid/powder meal-replacement category, according to market researcher Packaged Facts. Unilever spent $16.9 million in measured media on the brand in 2012, according to Kantar Media.

At stake is a piece of a weight-management market that is estimated to grow to nearly $41 billion by 2016, according to Packaged Facts, which counts diet foods and beverages as part of the total. An estimated 39% of U.S. adults are “watching their diet,” according to Experian Marketing Services data cited by Packaged Facts.

Did You Diet?

Weight Watchers’ 360° program includes digital tools meant to help users survive in a food environment that Mr. Kirchoff compares to a “bad neighborhood with lots of crime.” Theses include a “spaces” feature that has tips for staying on track at various locales, like advising travelers to “ask the hotel to de-stock the minibar.” A “routines” section allows users to track habits like how many walks they take during the day.

The update follows a drastic overhaul in late 2010 of the point system, which was rebranded as “points plus” and redesigned to factor in protein, carbohydrates, fat and fiber. The change catapulted Weight Watchers in 2011 into “the best financial performance in its history, with revenue 25.3% higher than in 2010,” according to a Packaged Facts report. But revenue flattened in 2012 as North American meeting attendance fell, the report notes. And “Weight Watchers 360° has been less than a roaring success,” the report states.

“We have reason to believe that our January ads lacked the persuasion we needed,” Mr. Kirchhoff conceded on a recent earnings call, adding that the benefits of 360° have “proven difficult to communicate in a quick, compelling way.” And those Jessica Simpson ads? “The news and the gossip around [her] pregnancy may have overshadowed any focus on her weight-loss success,” he said.

The company is tweaking its campaign this spring with ads in which Ms. Hudson states that people lose “five times more weight following the Weight Watchers approach than trying on their own.” The appeal seems to be a retort to the rising number of free, do-it-yourself apps, such as My Fitness Pal. Weight Watchers also launched a digital-ad-agency review to replace incumbent Razorfish, and plans to cut marketing outlays by $25 million globally. Digital-ad spending might have “hit a point of diminishing returns,” Ms. Callan said.

Weight Watchers International reported marketing expenses of $343.5 million last year, an increase of $51.2 million, according to its annual report.

Corporate outreach is housed under a division called Weight Watchers Health Solutions. Historically, the marketer relied on consumers to start Weight Watchers groups at their workplace. The new top-down approach engages corporate leaders. In some cases, companies are picking up part or all of the cost for employee Weight Watchers memberships.

New clients include the New York Stock Exchange, NBC Universal and American Express, which pays 100% of the cost for its employees to attend Weight Watchers meetings for a year, according to the Packaged Facts report. (Weight Watchers declined to comment on specific corporate accounts.) Tom Futch, VP-health solutions, described it as a “full consultative approach” that helps companies “better understand how to drive health and wellness with their employees.”

Which sounds like a lot more than counting points. From adage.

Jennifer Hudson On Weight Loss, Indulgences And How Her Life Has Changed

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013


Since being named Weight Watchers’ celebrity spokeswoman in 2010, Jennifer Hudson has shed an impressive 80-plus pounds. So it’s no surprise that the “American Idol” alum was on hand Monday for a 50th-anniversary celebration in which Weight Watchers dedicated its New York flagship to company founder Jean Nidetch. HuffPost Celebrity caught up with the svelte singer, 31, to find out her cheat meal of choice, the challenges to staying slim and the accoutrement she’s finally excited to wear.

What’s the hardest part of keeping the weight off?
What gets hard is when I get underweight, or under my goal weight, and then I have to eat, eat, eat. But you don’t want to lose control because you stopped checking points to maintain your weight. So it actually gets harder when you have to let your guard down. And that’s part of keeping the weight off — okay, how can I get back to my target weight, and let go, and not fall off the plan? The key is not to fall off the plan, to trust the plan and continue to do it. It’s tricky.

La La Anthony Flaunts 20-Pound Weight Loss In a Bikini!

What’s your biggest indulgence now?
I love chocolate chip cookies. And right now, I’m a huge fan of the Snickers ice cream bars, because it’s only five points. And then I can have chocolate, ice cream and nuts, but it’s almost not cheating until I go over.

What’s the most unexpected way your life has changed since losing 80 pounds?
Becoming a role model. When people say, “I want to get my J. Hud on” or they want to go to the gym, and I’m the role model for what they want to look like. It’s like, really? How did that happen, to go from not being that person to being that person? And also, to be magnified, versus before nobody was checking to see every single detail, and now it’s like every single detail, which adds a whole lot more pressure than before. So, it’s huge placement to step into.

What’s the biggest misconception about weight loss?
That people don’t think you can actually do it naturally. Nothing annoys me more. I hear so many different types of comments. When it happens and you achieve it, people somehow try to find a way to try to discredit you for it, and it’s “Oh, they had surgery.” I think other people’s experiences of doing things like that have cut people short of believing that it is possible. You can do it — I’m an example of that. Weight Watchers works, if you work it. You have to work it. And a lot of people are so blocked and blinded by “Oh, I can’t do it.” It’s like, no. It can happen naturally.

What’s one thing you couldn’t wear before that you wear now?
You know what? Heels. I was just having a conversation about it. Normally, I would take my shoes off on the red carpet because my feet hurt so bad. And it was the weight. But now that’s all I’m wearing. It used to be flats, now it’s all heels. So, that’s a drastic change.

Do you still watch “American Idol”?
I haven’t been able to watch. I hear things, but I haven’t been able to watch this season.

What do you think of the Nicki Minaj/Mariah Carey feud?
I always thought that was for TV. I’m like, I don’t know if it’s real. But then I guess it could be, and sometimes the ladies get catty, so that’s probably what’s happening.

Your fiance, David Otunga, just made his big-screen debut in “The Call.” Did you give him any acting pointers?
Yes, actually, a lot of them. He’d call me, “Jenny, Jenny!” and I’d go, “David, calm down. It’s okay. This means this, this means that.” So we did some background coaching. From huffingtonpost.