Thursday, December 29, 2011

Different diet plans for NFL and NBA fans; why not?

It all started with a consumer insight – men were trying to lose weight just like women.  But, of course men don’t diet, they get in shape!  Enter NFL Quarterback Dan Marino (circa 2006) as the new Nutrisystem spokesperson – just for men.  The company’s success, approximately 25% of their business now comes from men, (Mahoney, 2011) inspired Weight Watchers to follow suit, and last spring they ran their first men’s-only campaign partnering with the NBA.  (Schultz, 2011)

Now both companies are updating their campaigns with new spokespeople, while sticking with their fan bases.  So it’s Terry Bradshaw (NFL) for Nutrisystem versus Charles Barkley (NBA) for Weight Watchers.  (Janoff, 2011)

Whose fans will lose the most weight?  Maybe they should have a contest!

Mahoney, S. (2011, December 28) Softer Diet Industry Guns For Tubby Men.  Retrieved 2011, December 29, from

Schultz, E.J.  (2011, April 22)  Weight Watchers picks a new target: men.  Retrieved 2011, December 28, from

Janoff, B. (2011, December 26) Charles Barkley Vs. Terry Bradshaw: Pro Athletes Line Up For Battle Over Waistland.  Retrieved 2011, December 28, from

Thursday, December 22, 2011

How can we create anti-obesity advertising that works?

Given my strong belief that advertising can be used for the greater good, I have been following attempts to combat obesity with advertising closely.   This particular ad baffled me.  Since no one is actually going to walk from Queens to Manhattan (unless they are taking part in the NYC Marathon), I can’t help but wonder why anyone thought this would be motivating.

Well, it appears that I missed a recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health.  The study tested three different messages about sugary drinks on teens.  The first two – “A typical bottle contains 250 calories,” and “This bottle contains about 10% of a teen’s recommended daily calories,” reduced the odds that teens would buy sugary drinks by 40%, while the final message – “You have to jog 50 minutes to burn off the calories in this drink” reduced the odds by 50%. (Wilson, 2011)

It seems likely that this study led to the above ad.  Yet, the phrasing in the study was clearly easier to grasp than the wording in the ad above. 
But perhaps the more important finding is that all the messages yielded encouraging results.  It reminds me of the broccoli tv advertising test, which I wrote about here…

But I still think that we can do better.  Given that 67% of women want to lose weight, why not try a positive approach?  (Clark-Flory, 2008)
How would you respond to an ad that says “eliminate one sugary drink a day from your diet and you will lose 12 pounds in a year?”  I think it would get my attention.

Wilson, J. (2011, December 15)  Teenagers buy fewer sugary drinks with posted calorie count.  Retrieved December 21, 2011, from

Clark-Flory., T. (2008, April 25)  Study: Most women “disordered eaters”. Self Magazine.  Retrieved June 14, 2009, from

Blanchard, K. (2011, December 6)  Weight loss research 2011: Top findings for a healthier New Year.  Retrieved December 21, 2011, from

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Can Microsoft make your holiday flying experience happier?


We all know that airport travel has become increasingly difficult since 9/11 and if you’re like me, something to be avoided whenever possible.  I once suggested that marketers who recognize this new reality and attempt to improve my flying experiences would have my undying gratitude.  Apparently Microsoft heard me.

Starting this week they are partnering with Southwest Airlines for “The Picture Perfect Holiday” campaign.  The Santa’s workshop displays include Santa (or a reasonable facsimile), a holiday backdrop and an interactive kiosk.  Once visitors have their photos taken with Santa, a helpful “Windows 7 elf” will show them how to edit, share, print or store shots using Windows products. (Greenberg, 2011)

It sounds like fun to me.  What about you?  Will you check it out after you put your shoes back on?

Greenberg, K. (2011, December 12).  Microsoft Santa Experience Lands At Airports.  Retrieved December 12, 2011, from

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Have you used a mobile coupon at a QSR?


As mobile couponing continues to grow, a new study of 9,000 QSR campaigns has yielded some interesting data.  For instance, the most popular offer is BOGO, i.e. buy one get one free, with 70% of those surveyed preferring it, while 22% wanted price discounts and 6% opted for “free with purchase” promotions.

Also interesting was the fact that weekday time sensitive promotions fared the best.  So if you want someone to buy dessert, send them a coupon at 3:00 pm on a Wednesday.  

Social media is proving to be a good way to build lists, with 10% of prospects coming through online channels.  But, refer a friend programs are still better performers, adding 21% to subscriber lists. (Walsh, 2011)

So, what about you?  Do you use mobile coupons, and do you have an offer preference?  Did you join the list via social media, or were you referred by a friend?

Walsh, M.  (2011, December 5)  Restaurant Industry Serves Up Mobile Offers.  Retrieved December 7, 2011, from

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Time is running out if you want to buy Coke in a white holiday can…


For the first time ever the folks at Coca-Cola decided to put regular Coke in a white can for the holidays.  Reaction has been swift and negative.  Unhappy drinkers said the can looked like Diet Coke and confused them.  Others said it tasted differently.  And still others thought that messing with an icon was sacrilege.

Apparently the people at Coca-Cola failed to observe the Tropicana packaging fiasco closely enough.  Their redesign elicited similar negative comments, and I couldn’t distinguish my favorite ruby red grapefruit juice from the other flavors.  Ultimately they experienced a 20% drop in sales before they went back to the original packaging.  I think they may still be suffering as my local supermarket continues to offer deals for points on their brands.

While Coke rushes out traditional red cans to the store, I want to know what you think.  How central is packaging design to your decision-making?  Can you think of a time when it either encouraged or discouraged you from making a purchase?

Esterl, M. (2011, December 1)  A Frosty Reception for Coca-Cola’s White Christmas Cans.  Retrieved December 1, 2011, from