Weight Watchers Billion Dollar Internet Marketing Blunder

April 30, 2012
Mike Dolpies

Weight Watchers Billion Dollar Internet Marketing Blunder

Sometimes it is just too easy to get material for these blog posts.

I’ve been watching the NHL playoffs on TV lately. “Let’s go Flyers” -baby!

Every game a new Weight Watchers ad targeting men is played during a couple of the commercial breaks.

It’s a good commercial. Charles Barkley is the star.

You know “Sir Charles,” right? The somewhat out-spoken former NBA power forward. I know him because I watched and played a lot basketball when he was in his prime. He also played for the 76ers before moving on to Phoenix.

They get a point for using a celebrity who is known by their target market. My guess is the market for their men’s program would be guys 30 and up. These guys are overweight or out of shape. They were active in their younger years before gaining weight. They’re sports fans and Barkley is known in their circle. He’s also a “tell it like it is” sort of “leader” for them. He let’s them know “it worked for him and now it can work for them.”

Nutri-System seemed to pioneer the men’s weight-loss movement and supposedly has had a bunch of success with their marketing toward this same demographic. It only makes sense for Weight Watchers to jump on this.

But here’s where Weight Watchers Screwed Up…

It really amazes me how their marketing department can be so lazy and ignorant. Especially since they are completely knocking off Nutri-System (who did not screw this part up). Peoples! All you had to do was pay attention to the last few seconds of the Nutri-System ads!

So what did they screw up?

Studies show that a good bit of people watch TV with their laptops, tablets and smartphones either in hand or near by. Of course, any TV ad worth its salt should give a web address out and call the viewers to action with a reason to go to the site. The web address given should be a special URL/Link that ties-in to the ad.

Guess what these Billion Dollar Blunder Heads Did?

They directed traffic to their main home page. 

The anxious weight loss prospects, puts down his potato chips, heads to the site and is greeted, not by Sir Charles, but by Jennifer Hudson.

OH, but wait, you can see him off to the side.

Are you kidding?

These prospects are watching the NHL playoffs. Weight Loss is of secondary concern after their beer and favorite team. You gotta make this easy! How hard would it have been to simply have Barkley tell them to go to WeightWatchers/Men?? Now they go directly to that page. No guessing. No being distracted by the gorgeous Jennifer Hudson.

Sad, sad, sad!

To whatever Madison Avenue Agency who put this together – reach out to me – I can work on a retainer basis and help you get more guys to loose weight. What a great cause!

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About the author

Mike Dolpies Mike Dolpies (aka Mike D.) owns “Ocean View Publishing, LLC” - a diverse media/Internet Marketing and Consulting Company. He started his first business when he was just 18 years old. By the time he was 23 that business had generated well over a Million Dollars in sales and was consistently in the top 20% of its industry. He's the Author of 6 different books. His first book, “Motion Before Motivation, The Success Secret That Never Fails,” became a bestseller on Amazon.com He's been a guest on the Fox Morning News several times and has been written about in many newspapers. His work has also appeared on Entrepreneur.com and Fox Businsss.com