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Biggest Loser Holds Big Brand Power

Biggest Loser Holds Big Brand Power
Published January 8, 2010 by mduncansi Comments: 2

You know we’re at the beginning of a new year when you start seeing a flood of weight loss-related advertising. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, exercise equipment, various local gyms — all taking advantage of the eager and “newly resolutioned” target audience determined to make this the year they drop the pounds and get in shape. Although I find these ads to be effective during and for the 10 seconds immediately following, for some reason the powers of motivation are not quite strong enough to pull me off my couch into action.

However, there is one show that never ceases to amaze me — and usually on Wednesday mornings after the Tuesday night airing you’ll find me in my sneakers navigating my neighborhood’s hilly sidewalks. Trust me, anything that encourages this one to exercise is definitely persuasive. Tuesday evenings my roommate and I assume our positions on our respective couches — snacks in hand, of course — and prepare for the catharsis we are about to experience yet again. “What have you done today….” the theme song chants and we ask ourselves, “yes, what HAVE we done today?!” In case you haven’t already caught on, I’m referring to NBC’s The Biggest Loser.

Hopefully by now you’re picking up on how inspiring I find this show. But the relevance for our industry is not the show’s emotional draw but rather what it has done with The Biggest Loser as a brand. Not only is there a following large enough to populate the beginning of each season with 20-some contestants,  but because of the results consistently achieved and witnessed by America, the show’s trainers are now revered as get-fit gurus. There are products including work out DVD’s, Wii games, self help books, cook books, and BMI/BMR calculators — and The Biggest Loser store has it all. There is a Club where you pay a membership fee to receive the same diet and exercise advice given to the contestants (you can even sign up to get food delivered right to your door). You can sign up for the online “League,” a community to help keep you motivated and track your progress. The Biggest Loser is on Twitter and Facebook, they have message boards and blogs. There is even a charitable effort, The Biggest Loser Pound for Pound Challenge, which benefits Food Banks.

Also, in addition to airing advertisers’ commercials, The Biggest Loser teams up with sponsorship partners, most of which offer products relevant enough to justify product placement opportunities. Product placements from recent seasons include Extra Sugarfree Gum, Green Giant Steamers frozen vegetables, Brita, and Ziploc (gotta have those pre-measured portions ready to go!). I haven’t done a sales audit, but would imagine these products benefit from the show’s endorsements with a very healthy ROI.

The season premier aired earlier this week and this go round looks as promising as the last. Of course my roommate and I were somewhat startled when one contestant confessed in their testimonial video, “I was no longer satisfied just to watch The Biggest Loser from my couch!” Hmm…preparing sneakers now.

Where have you seen The Biggest Loser?

By the way, did you know several past contestants call Raleigh, NC home? You might even run into them working out at the North Hills Gold’s Gym!


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2 Responses to “Biggest Loser Holds Big Brand Power”

  1. Marie Duncan said:

    Thanks for the pingback, Darryl; we’re glad you found this article conversation-worthy. Your comments add to my point about the Biggest Loser as a brand. Regardless of the show’s merits, or lack thereof, the conversation surrounding it continues, thus extending its marketing power. Whether or not you like the show, the Biggest Loser/NBC has built a strong brand.

  2. Darryl said:

    The Biggest Loser is indicative of most current reality television theme shows. The subject matter, or premise, is overly sexed-up, heavily scripted and sensationalized with seemingly odd mixtures of contrasting personas designed to provoke the audience reaction. This is not authentic nor is it in my opinion entertaining.

    Shows like The Biggest Loser demean people. It’s as though you’re watching a Jerry Bruckheimer movie or you’re amidst a horde of voyeuristic people who’s tendency is to stop and ogle a freakish train-wreck or car accident on the freeway.
    Yeah, we all do it, and the show’s producers know very well this is intrinsic human behavior (to ridicule others).

    So, capitalize on it from a marketing perspective? By all means yes.