Who has time to slim slowly?

Don’t you wish you could take a pill or sip a drink instead of a meal and you could lose weight?

I saw this commercial last night and I was quite appalled.

The tagline, “who has time to slim slowly?”.

Weight is something I’ve always “battled” with. Up until the age of 18/19, I was able to eat whatever I wanted, never work out or exercise. Needless to say, from age 18 until now for me it’s been a constant weight gain. I made the decision recently that it had to stop. I had never tried any fad diets. I never once drank a slim fast drink instead of a meal. I like food. I like to eat. I like to cook.

I am not a nutritionist, in fact my only background in nutrition is an online course I took when I was 19 years old for a general education credit and being in Weight Watchers twice. The one thing I learned from that class and Weight Watchers was that if you want to lose weight, you need to do it slowly. If you lose 10 pounds in two weeks magically, something isn’t right.

Body image is a huge issue for most women my age. With eating disorders being a silent killer, I am disheartened to see that Slim Fast is promoting losing weight fast. Wouldn’t it be just as easy to become bulimic  or anorexic? To me, promoting “3 snacks, 2 shakes or meal bars and 1 balanced meal” is not healthy.

I honestly believe that the easiest way to lose weight is simple:

Eat GOOD food and move more.

Since mid-November (coming up on 7 weeks) I am down 10 pounds. What did I do? Honestly? I joined the gym. I did 45 minutes of cardio 3x a week. I tried to eat before 8pm. I ate oatmeal for breakfast. Replaced a calorie-loaded vanilla white chocolate mocha from Caribou with a cold press iced coffee.

When you start moving more, your body craves better food, at least in my experience. I never really ate BAD, just… too much. I don’t allow myself to become upset if I really want some cake from Cafe Latte. In fact, I will go get the cake. But I’ll save half for the next day or split it with my roommate.

vodka + red bull = delish

OH, and liquor. Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly) consuming (cough) 5+ drinks per week in one night on the town doesn’t promote weight loss.

This ad campaign may help Slim Fast reach their goals: sales of the product. But I do not feel it is promoting a healthy way to lose weight. And if that is their ultimate goal, don’t you think that they should promote losing weight the healthy way? Does this boil down to ethics in marketing?

**I did check out the website for “the new Slim Fast” and in very fine print in the bottom they state that it is not healthy to lose more than 2lbs per week (which is what I’ve always been told). I am glad that is posted but at the same time I was seeking that out.

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Coke Zero and Diet Coke

We have spent some time in class discussing Coke Zero and how the product is essentially the same thing as Diet Coke – zero calorie cola. The difference is the marketing plan (and the sweetener that is used). Do they taste different? To be honest, I have never had Coke Zero. I’m a Diet Coke girl and if Coke Zero tastes just like regular Coke count me out because I don’t really like regular Coke.

One of my co-workers is an avid Coke Zero drinker. When I decided I would write about Coke Zero’s marketing versus Diet Coke’s marketing, I asked her out of purely out of curiousity why she doesn’t drink Diet Coke. She said that she doesn’t like the taste. She loves regular Coke but doesn’t want the calories. When Coke Zero was created 5 years ago she started drinking that. I then informed her about the differences between the two and how their marketing differs. She said she had never even thought of that or paid attention to the ads for Coke Zero. She said after thinking about it, it does make sense. But for her she makes her decisions strictly on taste, not on calories or advertising.

Let’s take a look at a 2010 Coke Zero ad:

And now a Diet Coke ad from 2009:

While researching ads for this blog post I came across www.dietcoke.com and Diet Coke’s YouTube Channel. On there I found this ad, apparently it’s a new ad for 2010….

The difference between their 2009 ad and 2010 ad is apparent: they’re trying to shy away from Diet Coke being just a “woman’s” drink and incorporate gender equality into their campaign. I actually really like the last ad. I think it does present Diet Coke as a drink that is “OK” for anyone to drink. But at the end of the day, if you like Diet Coke you should drink it because you like it, not because it is tagged as a woman’s drink because it has “diet” in the name.

I came across this article from Antony Young and AdAge. The article compares, contrasts and rates Coke Zero and Pepsi Max’s media strageties. This plays in with what have been talking about in class and for our IMC plans for our brand or company. [FYI: Pepsi Max is their zero calorie verison of Pepsi]

In the case of Coke Zero and Pepsi Max, these beverage giants are chasing a burgeoning market of men who apparently aren’t man enough to own up to drinking a soda marked “diet.” -Antony Young

According to the article, Coke Zero adapted a brand media strategy based on four key pillars: sports, social media, schools and Spanish language. They do a lot of advertising in college basketball, football and Nascar. Coke in general has an entire online social media principles on their website available for anyone to see.

The bottom line is the Coke Zero and Diet Coke are two products that are quite similar but marketed to different markets. Coca-Cola uses different marketing strategies for each brand. Although it’s a new brand, Coke Zero has proven to be successful. According to their website it was one of their most successful product launches in their history. On the other hand, Diet Coke is the number 3 soft drink in the world.

The Other Hangover, an ad campaign created by students at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Students from the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications has unveiled a new campaign called “The Other Hangover”. The campaign was originally created for the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). The U of MN team was one of the top competitors in the competition. The campaign aims to take a new spin on preventing binge drinking on the large college campus.

The team conducted research and found that 75% of college students believe when they over-consume alcohol, their behavior has negative social consequences. The “other” hangover, is a hangover other than the physical effects of a night of drinking – a headache, puffy eyes and feeling sick. The campaign drives home the fact that when you’re inebriated, the decisions you make (whether conscience or not) can have negative after-effects such as embarrassment, guilt or humiliation.

They are using may different types of media, from billboards and Facebook ads to window clings in the bathroom at TCF Bank Stadium. The ads have been viewed by local media as edgy and racy (see article by KSTP here: http://kstp.com/news/stories/s1742526.shtml?cat=1)

Some of the ads say, “Just because you were drunk doesn’t mean this didn’t happen” or “Your reputations aren’t drunk proof” or “Before you got drunk, you weren’t known as the Creep”.

A sidewalk cling

This will go in a bus shelter on campus or as a poster

The campaign is based on a survey that was done in 2007 by the U’s Health Services, showing that the high-risk drinking rate for students between the ages of 18-24 is 41.6%.

I think it’s great campaign and the students did a great job of creating an online presence {with the website, www.theotherhangover.com}, notifying local media, and having the various posters and billboards throughout campus. Unfortunately, I think that the targeted group would be more effectively convinced not to drink so much if they included harsh statistics about death, alcoholism and the drop-out rate.

What do you think of the campaign? Do you think students will be convinced not to drink so much for fear of ruining their reputation?

Baby Carrots Get A New Groove!

 

Bolthouse Farms released information about the industry’s first-ever marketing campaign for baby carrots. Apparently, they’re going to be dispensing baby carrots in “Doritos-like bags”, in school vending machines. The CEO of Bolthouse Farms, Jeff Dunn, says that it “takes a page out of the junk food playbook and applies it to baby carrots.”

According to a website created by the ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky , on September 7, 2010, the WORLD’S FIRST EVER BABY CARROTS COMMERICAL will hit airwaves near you. They’re working to create a brand and the main slogan is going to be “Eat ‘Em Like Junk Food”.

The website (www.babycarrots.com) is interesting and very interactive. I spent some time checking it out and trying to figure out some information, such as: who is the target market? what media outlets are being used?

Not only can you actually print out a ‘bag’ to put on your own carrots, but you can use the social network, Twitter, to Tweet about it to your friends. You can follow them on Twitter at @babycarrots.  You can download an application for your iPhone, “The World’s First Crunch-Powered Video Game.”  And, COMING SOON, you can become a fan on Facebook. They’ll be rolling out their television ads this Fall. I didn’t see anything about print media, however I can imagine some sort of advertising in a magazine, a billboard or the like.

As far as the target market, just viewing the website, considering the media used and keeping in mind how they’ll be distributed I’m thinking they’re targeting towards children to teens and young adults.

I honestly think that it’s a great idea. Society, especially children and young adults, are so overexposed to junk food. I love snacking on baby carrots in the afternoon while I’m at work and if we can get anyone to choose a healthy snack over a salty snack, it is one tiny step for the health food industry.

My only question is: do they come with ranch to dip in?