Carrie Fisher Is Jenny Craig's Ideal Spokeswoman
By Jo Piazza Posted Jan 14th 2011 01:00PM
When Carrie Fisher announced that she would be the latest celebrity to lose weight by endorsing Jenny Craig, the dieting company should have been counting their blessings (and their future dividends).
Fat is big business in Hollywood. Our country's obsession with fat has helped to fuel a $40 billion diet industry that churns out diet supplements, self-help books, weight-management programs and fitness centers. At the heart of that diet industry is the celebrity endorsement, deals that have paid out anywhere from $500,000 to $5 million a year for celebrities like Kirstie Alley, Marie Osmond, Jennifer Hudson and Valerie Bertinelli, who are all willing to publicly lose weight.
The proof of financial gains is in J-Hud's fat-free pudding.
Beginning in April 2010, Weight Watchers launched a new marketing campaign featuring Hudson. The results for Weight Watchers were an improved year-over-year performance in its second quarter relative to first quarter when Hudson was not a spokeswoman. The company's gross profit for the second quarter of fiscal 2010 was $211.7 million, an increase of $4.2 million, or 2.0 percent.
As endorsements have proven their worth, companies like Jenny Craig have gotten savvier in their market segmentation.
In 2010, brand analysis consumer product and research firm Mintel categorized the segmentation of Jenny Craig's spokespeople as follows.
● Valerie Bertinelli is the friendly, approachable neighbor with a perky, can-do
attitude. She serves as the brand cheerleader.
● Jason Alexander is the "everyman" who plays the part of the nebbish.
● Phylicia Rashad is an elegant black woman who appeals to affluent and
aspirational women of this demographic.
● Sara Rue is a down-to-earth, spunky character who brings levity to the
challenge of weight loss.
So who is Fisher? She's the over-50 lady nebbish. She is skeptical and critical and tells it how it is. For that, the American consumer will trust her implicitly to reveal her struggles with weight. That's why Fisher, at 54, is the perfect spokeswoman for the company right now.
Not only is the deal win-win for Jenny Craig, but it's pretty big for Fisher who rebuilt her brand with her book and one-woman show, 'Wishful Drinking,' but could use the national spotlight of Jenny Craig to hoist her back into the spotlight.
Diet endorsers don't just raise the profits for whatever diet they are promoting; they are promoting their own personal brands. Each pound lost can translate into several thousand dollars in endorsement and book deals, but is then followed by a trickle down effect of future project offers.
Since signing with Jenny Craig, Valerie Bertinelli has written two books and was recruited for a starring role in a new TVLand series, 'Hot In Cleveland.'
No publicist or agent in Hollywood could score that kind of publicity without a little help from the battle with the bulge.
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