Diet Program Promoters Should Target Prospects With Positive Body Images

BY Courtney Huckabay

According to a recent study, 89 percent of women from the U.S. and other western countries are dissatisfied with their weight. That dissatisfaction, together with a critical view of one’s own body, is a problem that Weight Watchers sees frequently, AdWeek reports.

11 women posed naked for Weight Watchers Magazine to celebrate natural beauty,” Robert Klara writes for AdWeek. “This move highlights the brand’s shift from shedding pounds to instilling pride. Though still a popular way to take off the pounds, the company now preaches body acceptance before dieting, and there’s no better proof than the upcoming issue of Weight Watchers Magazine.”

Diet/​Weight loss centers can tag-​team with this effort and style of marketing to gain new members and attract a new audience. AudienceSCAN reports 4.4% of U.S. adults intend to pay for diet/​weight loss counseling (like Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers) this year.

The May/​June issue features a photo section of Weight Watchers members of varying ages and body types who agreed to pose with minimal—and frequently no—clothing. They range from 29-​year-​old Latoya to Janie, a career women and 55-​year-​old grandmother. They all appear in the magazine as they did under the photographer’s lights; the editors did no retouching.”

60.3% of Diet/​Weight Loss Counseling Shoppers are women, according to AudienceSCAN research. And 24% of them are aged 35 to 44; while 17% are aged 45 to 54. However, the 18–24 age group is surprisingly 48% more likely than average to seek counseling and help for weight loss. This is even more reason to use positive body images in campaigns for young, impressionable Americans.

One thing we hear over and over again is that life doesn’t start until you’re 30 pounds thinner,” Editor Theresa DiMasi says. “For women, this negative self body talk keeps coming up over and over. But one of the things that happens in Weight Watchers is that, along your journey, you start accepting yourself. You start talking about yourself positively and building a new outlook on your body.”

Try out a new positive body image campaign in mobile smartphone app or text message ads, because AudienceSCAN finds Diet Counseling Shoppers are 97% more likely than average to take action when they get them.

DiMasi said, Weight Watchers has “gone beyond” the emphasis on losing pounds. “For these women,” she said, “the higher calling is what they’re learning. What these women are saying is: Appreciate yourself right now. Life begins right now, no matter your size and shape, it doesn’t matter.”

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.