FLORIDA, FL: Weight Watchers, the weight-loss brand, has enjoyed marketing success through mixing the star power of Oprah Winfrey with telling real-life consumer stories.

Maurice Herrera, SVP/Head of Marketing at Weight Watchers International, Inc., discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2017 Masters of Marketing Conference.

And he highlighted a campaign featuring Oprah Winfrey – the actress, TV icon and lifestyle mogul – which encouraged consumers to “live life fully”. That positioning, he said, matched Winfrey’s personal brand and Weight Watchers’ agenda. (For more details, read WARC’s report: The “Oprah Effect” kickstarts Weight Watchers’ brand transformation.)

“When Oprah comes on board, it’s our obligation to have an overarching brand idea that really brings together Oprah’s vision for enabling people to live the best expression of themselves,” said Herrera.

“But that also meets Weight Watchers, and our point of view, which is you can eat the food you love, and do the things you love, all while you’re losing weight.”

Coupled with this partnership, however, is the desire to tell the real-life stories of everyday Weight Watchers’ members who achieve their goals and still nibble on the occasional treat.

“Genuine and authentic storytelling became the fabric of our entire marketing narrative,” Herrera said – an approach that spans touchpoints like digital and print ads, as well as its social-media feeds.

Re-framing its identity in such a manner has had knock-on benefits it terms of making the Weight Watchers brand feel more accessible, aspirational and relatable.

“Since everybody believes that they have a unique challenge, it’s critical for them to look at Weight Watchers and see a bit of themselves in the brand,” said Herrera.

Messaging based around consumer stories, he reported, is not without challenges – particularly because “you almost don’t even know” the narratives that will emerge until the brand has interacted with its members.

But the results prove out that the rewards from this approach far outweigh the risks. “We’ve measured this, and it is achieving great, great, great results,” Herrera said.

Sourced from WARC