W+K Portland has launched a new campaign for Weight Watchers, its first for the brand since winning creative duties back in April.
In a new 60-second spot, W+K drops the celebrity-driven approach taken by previous agency McCann (whose latest work featured Jessica Simpson), instead going for a universal theme of “eating your feelings.” The ad, entitled “If You’re Happy…” is set to an adaption of the popular children’s song “If You’re Happy And You Know It” by Tony Babino. “If you’re happy and you know it, eat a snack,” he sings at the beginning of the spot over shots of people happily enjoying ice cream, burgers and cake. Around 15 seconds in the tune changes to “If you’re sad…” and later on to such feelings as “bored,” “lonely” and “sleepy” before finally ending with “If you’re human and you know it, eat your feelings, eat a snack” and ending with the tagline, “Help with the hard part” before finally showing the Weight Watchers logo.
It’s an interesting tactic, tapping into the insight that people associate eating with all types of emotions rather than relying on a celebrity endorsement, which seems to be the standard for the category. W+K seems to be banking on the empathy and relatability of the message being more persuasive than association with celebrity.
According to The New York Times, the ad will “be introduced broadly on Sunday” with an emphasis on “programming apt to draw multiple members of a household” like “the midseason finale of The Walking Dead on AMC on Sunday and the season finale of The Voice on NBC on Dec. 15.” The ad will also “appear widely in cinemas,” which Lesya Lysyj, president of Weight Watchers in North America, told The New York Times “…is great because you’re sitting there with your huge thing of popcorn.”
“We’ve never actually said that weight loss is easy, but when you use celebrities and show before-and-after photos, what you’re doing is kind of implying that it is easy,” she added, explaining the move away from celebrity endorsements.