Spring is most definitely in the air!
We certainly waited a long time for it to arrive this year, didn’t we? Summer will soon be with us. Along with the trees and flowers, communications for weight loss products and programs are also blossoming everywhere.
That’s why I decided to write a post on some changes I have noticed in advertising that suggest that many companies are finally beginning to take their customers’ perspective. If you would like to do the same, read on.
One advertisement that caught my eye recently was the campaign for Slim Fast from Unilever. I shouldn’t be surprised that this brand attracted me, as Unilever is a company that really gets customer understanding and insight. Their communications resonate soundly with their target audience. Who doesn’t remember the power of the communications for their Axe / Lynx, Dove and Omo / Persil brands as just three examples?
The reason the Slim Fast ad caught my eye – apart from needing to lose more than a few pounds! – was because it spoke about what you could gain from losing weight. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe this is one of the first slimming brands to use this approach. Normally such products speak of how much weight we would lose and perhaps how much better we would look or feel once we do. Slim Fast has illustrated that there are many reasons why we may want to lose weight, going as far as to even imply gaining better bedroom performance too!
In researching for this post, I came across a good article in last month’s AdAge comparing slimming products and their advertising. If you missed it, you can read it here. The piece by E.J. Schultz mentioned that Weight Watchers was adopting a more holistic approach emphasising wellness as much as calorie counting. They also quoted Weight Watchers International CEO David Kirchhoff as saying “We are viewing ourselves more and more as a health-care company.” It seems that diet product and service companies have finally understood that their advertisinng should be more about their customers than their products.
At about the same time as Slim Fast, Kelloggs also started a new campaign for their brand Special K, asking consumers “What will you gain when you lose?” It is clearly based on a similar insight to Unilever’s, but with a different execution. Kelloggs is using it both online and offline, and also offers an app. The campaign has been met with mixed reactions online, with many criticisms from various personal rights groups. All the attention appears to be having a positive impact on sales, which must be welcome news for Kellogg after the glass scare a few months ago.
Their latest and most fun support for the brand in my opinion, comes in the form of a Tweet Shop (for non-Brits, a play on the name of a well-known British institution, the Sweet shop). Customers pay instore to try their new cracker crisps with a Tweet. Check out the YouTube video: Special K’s Tweet Shop
As I mentioned at the beginning, communications that truly resonate with customers are those based on an insight, coming from a human truth.
In the case of Slim Fast, the recognised need that is being addressed has been moved from the usual positioning of self-esteem to that of love and belonging.
In the case of Kellogg’s Special K, their communication appears to have gone in the opposite direction, moving from esteem to self-actualisation. I look forward to seeing how these new communication concepts pan out for each brand. Which do you think will win most customers?
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