“Expect amazing, because it works”. That is Weight Watchers latest slogan. With a slogan so confident, one would hope they could back their promise. The slew of pictures and video clips this company shows people, just like you and I, doing daily, “human things”, as they called it.
By using the plain folk technique, Weight Watchers spends their whole thirty two second ad trying to convince the audience that they understand. Over the years we have listened to spokeswomen such as Jenny McCarthy, Lynn Redgrave, Jessica Simpson, and currently Jennifer Hudson convince us that they too are just like us; overweight. While this ad specifically showcases the weight loss success of five individuals, four females and one male, the ad is mostly targeted towards female. While yes, they show a diversity of genders and races, the female spokesperson, uplifting background music, and overall appearance, seems more of a female targeted ad.
The testimonial approach is also apparent in this commercial. Even though only Jennifer Hudson is speaking in the thirty two seconds, the man and women s success is shown through text showing their name and how much weight they have lost. Also, throughout the ad there is a clause at the bottom stating “*People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Featured Members and Subscribers lost weight on Points Plus and/or prior programs”. This clause leads us to the conclusion that testimonials were used in hopes of persuading the audience that they too, the plain folk, could be just like these plain folks. This ad holds all three of the qualities Marlin warns us to be aware of when viewing propaganda. It clearly is an organized and deliberate attempt to influence, is trying to deceit the viewers into believing in their company, and is based on being a psychological influence.
Due to Weight Watchers being the fastest growing diet program in America, this ad and ads similar have proven effective. Having fallen to the propaganda of this company myself, I can truly say Weight Watchers is a great and effective program. While no, I do not believe Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson understand me personally and my weight struggles, I do believe that they too are human and deal with a daily battle just like the rest of us. However, as a personal insight into this company, I have quickly learned while yes, it is successful and a great support system, it is also a change of psychological behaviors that you are paying great deals of money for them to teach you. Weekly, you can go to a meeting where they discuss meal plans, build strategies to get through the next holiday, celebrate members’ success, and sell you their products. One of the reasons I strayed from this program was because of the last reason. Every week they try to sell you the latest granola bar, chips, or oatmeal. Sometimes they brag about their nifty step counters or calculators. While this ad does a great job of connecting with the audience, it lacks the details as to what it takes to actually be a member. It takes more than just a credit card to pay the monthly fee, more than the upfront cash for signing up, or the purchase of the books that explain the guidelines and system. It is more than sometimes years of dedication. Personally, I tend to believe ads such as Weight Watchers because I have seen the program work and have experienced it for myself. Yet as confident in the program one may be, they always need to have a watchful and critical eye for propaganda such as the ads and products companies just like this are constantly throwing at you.