Brand reinvention and the Oprah Effect

The announcement in mid-October that Oprah had bought a ten percent stake in Weight Watchers came at an opportune time for the struggling brand. Having lost significant share to weight loss apps in recent years, Weight Watchers was ripe for something major to turn the trend around.

Enter, O and her golden touch at anointing The Next Big Thing. Already she’s front and center in the new marketing campaign:


But the interesting news to us is more of a brand tweaking tale and the glory of perfect timing.

Time to change

Time to change

Seems that Weight Watchers was already in the midst of a brand re-positioning from “weight loss” to “helping people lead healthier, happier lives.” Sounds like a key brick in the Oprah brand pyramid to us (“your best life” and “your best you”).

When spokesperson (or in this case spokesperson/stakeholder) attributes tightly align with brand values, it’s a beautiful, thinner, healthier thing.

In our healthcare, weight loss and pharma direct marketing experience, a brand purpose rebirth like Weight Watchers’ is purposeful and timely. By placing the emphasis less on “losing” (pounds, weight, food you love to eat…only to find it again) and talking instead about “gaining” (health, self-esteem, love, a better life), the conversation has morphed instantly to the positive. And weight loss will follow, the thinking goes, once a healthier relationship to food and eating has begun.

It’s got us thinking—what other categories are due for a tectonic platform shift such as this?

Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn



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