Tag Archives: marketing

Kraft Fresh Take Commercials Bring Real Food to the Spotlight

The other night my husband and I were knee deep into one of our favorite sitcoms on Hulu when a commercial interrupted our program. This is usually the opportune time for me to take a bathroom or wine break since I’m generally put off by commercials. They all tend to be a bit on the cheesy side, altogether irrelevant, or completely disconnected from reality. I blame it on the overdone drug commercials, but they’re all pretty bad if you ask me.

But this commercial by Kraft Foods struck a different chord with me and caught me by surprise with its message of cooking real food. Quite the revolutionary idea, isn’t it?

From what I gather, Kraft is about real food and that’s a principle they’ve modeled most of their products after. I’m not saying they’re all perfect, some containing ingredients I’m not 100 percent on board with. But I appreciate that they’re trying to create more wholesome products that can be used in conjunction with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins to help their customers create healthy, satisfying meals for the whole family. Any time someone is in the kitchen instead of in a restaurant, that’s progress to me. (more…)

The Conspiracy to Make Us All Junk Food Junkies: Breaking Down New York Times’ Addictive Junk Food Story

Have you ever sat down with a bag of chips that you not only couldn’t put away, but found yourself nearly possessed, ravaging the bag of Doritos like the Tasmanian Devil? It’s not an accident, but a carefully-formulated strategy to maximize consumption and the bottom line of the companies that manufacture processed foods.

New York Times investigative reporter Michael Moss spent four years investigating the food industry and has gone public with a bold statement: there was a “conscious effort taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery store aisles to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive.” junk food industry

The accusation is not a revelation to most health advocates, but is a much-needed wake-up call for the general public, many of whom don’t fully realize how the science and engineering behind packaged foods is making us obese and sick with obesity-related chronic diseases. As you’ll see, it’s not just the Doritos, Cheetos and sodas, but pasta sauces and soups.

Moss, the author of the much discussed New York Times article, The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food, and soon-to-be published book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, compiled a list of small case studies that together make a compelling argument that the processed food industry is not much different from Big Tobacco as a public health menace. (more…)

Dodge’s Farmer Super Bowl Ad Prioritizes Health and Family

  • In a two-minute spot that aired during Super Bowl XLVII, Dodge Ram highlighted the farmers who are the life blood of our nation.
  • The spot featured the real men, women, and even youth who “put in 40 hours by noon on Tuesday,” but also sow and harvest the food that we all consume every day.
  • Paul Harvey narrated the commercial, based on audio of a speech he gave to the Future Farmers of America in 1978.
  • Farmers markets are an affordable and accessible way to not only provide wholesome fresh foods for your family, but also support local farmers and therefore your local economy.
  • The spot shared the beautiful scene of a family gathered around the table for dinner, something that can improve a child’s performance at school and give them greater self esteem. A family dinner can reduce in the incidence of obesity, eating disorders, depression, and substance abuse. (more…)

Medifast’s Become Yourself Campaign Puts Dieters Face-to-Face with Their Former Selves

The first month of 2013 is already winding down. How is your New Year’s resolution going? If you’ve chosen a healthier lifestyle and have stuck to it, fantastic! But the odds are against most of us following through for any extended period of time.

To really find lasting change, we have to look deep inside ourselves. In the case of the first ever national advertising campaign from Medifast, three people did exactly that, and share the experience in an innovative video series that cleverly splices together conversations between their old unhealthy and new leaner selves.

If you are able to lose weight and be healthier, what if you could have a conversation with your former self?

While many big weight loss ad campaigns are attached to celebrity endorsements, this one metaphorically turns the spotlight around on “we the people” to see how we can find inspiration within ourselves. Medifast’s “Become Yourself” series includes the stories of Kimberley Vandlen, Tina Shelley, and Joseph Garcia. (more…)

Do We Only Eat What Big Food Tells Us To?

One of the most widely circulated pieces of advice for effective (meaning healthy) grocery shopping is to steer around the perimeter of the store where nutritious foods are traditionally on display. But food makers and the stores that sell their products aren’t happy just to sit still and not try to influence your buying habits.

Food ad spending in the U.S. rests at about $7 billion a year. Not to mention, the Newspaper Association of America reports about $1.5 billion is spent by food companies each year in newspapers and mailed circulars.

Billion with a “b” comes with a pretty hefty influence. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a UK study found that people alter their meal plan according to what products their grocery store is promoting.

Back Stateside, a new study evaluated the types of foods promoted by supermarkets chains and their corresponding share of advertising space in 2011 sales circulars. The food group that was given the heaviest promotion on the front page of supermarket sales circulars was meat with about 40 percent of the ads. Fruits and vegetables were each given about 10 percent of the sampled advertising space. (more…)

eDiets Merges With As Seen On TV and Signs CeeLo Green Endorsement

Not only are all of us making big changes and plans for the new year, but eDiets is doing so, too. One of the more familiar names in dieting, and one of the first to take the industry online, is finalizing a merger with the As Seen on TV brand. The initial announcement was made last fall and will soon complete a stock-for-stock buyout that will remove eDiets as a public company and make it a wholly owned subsidiary of the direct marketing giant.

“It’s an intriguing business acquisition, for a TV company to own a diet company” said Steve Rogai, CEO of As Seen on TV, when we spoke him this week about the merger. He explained that with eDiets being a direct marketing company that sells a food product and As Seen on TV selling a variety of consumer goods direct to consumer, it makes this new business a “synergistic fit.”

eDiets’ performance in recent years hasn’t been remarkable. When the initial report was made in August, InvestorPlace.com reports that eDiets was being purchased “for 80 cents a share — roughly double what the micro-cap stock had been selling for.”

Rogai commented that eDiets has had its ups and downs, “sometimes more down than up.” He also described this merger as a smart business move that would save eDiets more than one million dollars a year by no longer being a public company.

As for the meal delivery industry as a whole, it’s profitable and will continue to be so. Per a May 2011 report by John LaRosa’s Marketdata Enterprises, he told us they had “identified approximately 30 companies participating in the meal delivery business. We estimated the market’s value at $925 million.” At that time he also projected this segment of the diet market to reach $1.09 billion in revenue by 2014.

What can we expect to see for eDiets in this new year? Not only are they working to introduce a more competitive meal delivery option, but they’ve already signed and announced an endorsement deal with entertainer CeeLo Green. A judge on the Voice and soon be the face of his own Las Vegas show, Loberace, CeeLo made it known late last year that he wanted to get healthy in 2013. (more…)

Medifast CFO Resigns, Stock Shares Plunge

Medifast Inc. reported last week that its chief financial officer Edward Powers plans to step down. Powers is resigning just six weeks after the company’s former CFO Brendan Connors stepped down on November 13, which analysts believe has greatly affected the company’s stocks.

As reported on December 26, Medifast’s stock shares have plummeted 13 percent to its lowest value in two years at just $25.50. The Wall Street Journal reports this makes the stock the worst performer in the Standard & Poor’s Composite 1500 index.

Powers promises to leave the company no later than January 4. According to reports his resignation from Medifast is for a desire to pursue other interests, namely to take a job in the construction-tool industry in the greater Baltimore area. Information on any further reasoning has not yet been released.

Even as we head in to the biggest season for weight loss brands, another diet company affected by recent stock exchange drops is HerbaLife. (more…)

9 Worst Obesity Prevention Ads of 2012

As a consumer, you are subjected to around 5,000 advertisements every day, according to the New York Times. Without ads, businesses and organizations would have no way to promote their products, services, and ideas. With that much noise, ads continue to reach a point where they’ll cross any boundary just to be seen, heard, and stand out, and we see that especially where ads for obesity prevention and weight management are concerned.

We compiled the worst obesity prevention ads of 2012. Taking a look at the ads, we asked ourselves, why would these messages ever come to market? And, what would make companies want to advertise their ideas or products in such tasteless, thoughtless ways? The state of Georgia and Active Life Movement are two ads we’ll feature that really missed the mark. However, there is one ad that took the number one spot as the best obesity prevention ad, and that belongs to Nike.

The Worst Obesity Prevention Ads of 2012

The “Stop Child Obesity” ads in Georgia may have done one thing the organization wanted it to, and that was get attention. However, the attention was more backlash than action. The series of ads and billboards were targeted toward parents, but they made the mistake of putting photos of children on the billboards along with messages calling children out and making them feel ashamed for being overweight, also known as fat shaming. With tag lines like “Being fat takes the fun out of being a kid,” the ads created no value for the consumer and the message was read as if you are overweight then you should be ashamed of your weight. Although the ads were never intended to hurt or offend people, it did in such a way that the boards were removed. (more…)

Retrofit Debuts 2013 TV Commercial with 2 Weight Loss Success Stories

“I had tried every imaginable weight loss program,” said Juan Carlos Duque. “I successfully lost weight quickly. The same was true with Retrofit. The difference is I put the weight back on with the others.”

Fifty-seven weeks ago, Duque weighed 251 pounds. Today, at 43, he is down 37 pounds and he credits a lot of that to Retrofit. To date he’s lost 15 percent of his body weight, and that’s a promise the weight loss company makes to each of its new clients. They can help you lose 10 to 15 percent of your weight in one year, and the best part is, you’ll keep it off!

Duque told us his original goal was 225 pounds, but now at 214 and in week five of his second year, he said “I’ve never experienced that level of sustainability.”

It’s the same thing Amy Williamson is experiencing, too. She’s a mom of two young children who found she hadn’t lost much from her first pregnancy when she learned of the second. She had planned to go back to Weight Watchers, on which she’d lost 35 pounds twice. But now, after losing 40 pounds in a year, she says, “Retrofit approaches weight loss not as a diet plan.” (more…)

Zumba Named Company of the Year by Inc. Magazine

Equal parts dance and aerobics, Zumba has taken over the fitness world. Maybe the secret ingredient to making exercise fun has been discovered. Zumba was just named Inc. Magazine’s Company of the Year this week. This following this summer’s accolade of being named the largest fitness brand in the world.

While Zumba holds its own as a fitness class, it clearly stands up as a very successful business as well. Inc. reported this week that the Zumba company has an estimated valuation of more than $500 million. That tally comes from some very rapid growth. The CEO, Alberto Perlman, stated in the Inc. article that the company grew 4,000 percent from 2007 to 2010. Additionally the company grew 750 percent in the past three years. Holy Zumba, Batman! Is anything else in the business world, anything at all doing that well? (more…)