As a society, we look up to celebrities and make them our personal idols. There is always something they have that we want, be it their stylish haircut, flawless skin, sparkling smile, or shapely body. We are always eager to learn about the latest celebrity diets, trainers, and weight loss tips. Marketing teams not only know this, but they also study it extensively in order to take full advantage of our wanting nature. Companies use celebrities to get their products noticed, and to lend credibility to their advertising campaigns.
Both Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem have been on the market for a very long time, and have proven successful results. However, a company in any industry needs to distinguish itself from its competitors in order to maximize sales. This is why companies employ big names to push their product, hoping that a pretty face and a dusting of star power will induce the consumer to choose them over the competition.
Jenny Craig celebrity diet
Weight loss guru Jenny Craig brought her commercial weight loss program to the American public in 1985. It has been a commercial powerhouse and one of the more popular celebrity diets ever since. It involves a three-step program:
- The first step is learning how and when to eat the pre-packaged meals.
- The second step is learning how to integrate regular exercise into your life.
- The third step is learning how to maintain momentum in order to keep the weight off.
In December 2004, Jenny Craig Inc. announced that it had signed on Kirstie Alley to be their spokesperson. At the time, Kirstie was at her heaviest weight of 220 pounds. She was gracing the covers of numerous magazines showcasing her weight problem. Her weight issues were being talked about on almost every entertainment talk show and celebrity gossip magazine. She had also burst back into showbiz with her new television show “Fat Actress”, which focused on the weight problem of the main character. Kirstie was once again in the public eye, and a critical eye it was. Jenny Craig saw the potential financial gain for her company in contracting Kirstie to promote a celebrity diet. Not only was Kirstie constant magazine fodder, thus virtually guaranteeing substantial exposure, but she was also well-known and loved for her role on the long-running program “Cheers” as the sassy, sultry Rebecca Howe. Kirstie Alley has since lost 75 pounds.
In April 2007, Jenny Craig saw another lucrative opportunity, and made a celebrity addition to her team, Valerie Bertinelli, the loveable Barbara Cooper on “One Day at a Time”. Valerie confessed that she adopted this particular diet because she was impressed with Kirstie’s progress in the battle to lose weight. Valerie’s aim was to lose 30 pounds on the Jenny Craig program, and in September 2007, she realized her goal.
Nutrisystem celebrity diet
Nutrisystem was created in 1972. It started out marketing a liquid protein diet, which was abandoned in 1978 due to growing competition, and then it switched to selling pre-packaged meals designed to aid in weight loss. The company went bankrupt in the early 90’s, and re-emerged in 1999.
Nutrisystem’s method of operation relies on providing all the food for its clients, in order for them to remain true to their prescribed diet. Each and every meal is pre-packaged and sent to the client, rendering the diet simple to adhere to and relatively easy to maintain. However, Nutrisystem’s diet program is particularly geared toward weight loss, and does not focus on weight maintenance.
One eager advocate of Nutrisystem is Tori Spelling. She recently joined the program to shed some weight following the birth of her son. Tori admitted that she has never had weight issues in the past and was therefore looking for a quick loss program. This method is dramatically different from the one that Jenny Craig employs.
- Nutrisystem is effective in helping its overweight clients shed those stubborn pounds quickly, but may not help them in keeping them off. The pre-packaged meals may aid clients in understanding portion control, but the program does not incite them to make future healthy food choices on their own.
- Jenny Craig Inc. also employs the use of pre-packaged meals, but when clients have lost half of their goal weight, the plan switches gears. Clients are then encouraged to start making their own meals, employing the techniques and tips they have learned thus far in the Jenny Craig program.
Do we “buy” it?
All you have to do is turn on the television to see that using celebrities to endorse products must be working brilliantly. We can observe tennis pro Maria Sharapova selling us Canon digital cameras, or Ellen Degeneres singing the praises of American Express, or Nicole Kidman pushing Chanel No. 5, and so on, so forth. When consumers wish to buy a certain product, they want to believe that the celebrity spokesperson is promising a good investment. So, just as we prefer golfer Tiger Woods selling us sporting equipment, and the stunning Halle Berry selling us cosmetics, we most definitely want a former “Fat Actress” selling us a weight loss program (a Celebrity Diet!).