t’s not just about shedding pounds, looking good, or even getting healthy, according to a new 60-second ad from Weight Watchers Australia. The company’s brand team from down under decided to dig a little deeper and appeal to the emotional side of weight loss in a way that we haven’t seen before in the U.S. What they’ve delivered is both moving and powerful through a simple and strong message: “Awaken your incredible.”
While Americans love celeb-driven ads, like the ones featuring new mom Jessica Simpson and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, who lost 80 pounds on the program, they may not be as effective as this new one from Australia for three reasons:
1. Celebs don’t represent us. How many times have you thought, “Well, if I had a private chef, nannies, and an indoor state-of-the-art gym, I’d look red carpet-ready all the time, too?” Most people don’t have the support that celebrities have. Plus we know these celebs get paid, argues clinical psychologist and Shape advisory board member Belisa Vranich, Psych.D. “This new ad is the exact opposite. It speaks to the everyday woman.”
2. The new ad speaks our language. Shaming us won’t get us to change, but lifting us up will. “Rather than focus on people’s bad habits, lack of discipline, or a day in the future when you will look better and subsequently be more lovable, this ad chose a smarter tact, saying ‘You did it, you are good, you have survived far greater battles and triumphs than saying no to a cupcake.’ This makes weight loss about self-love, not self-loathing,” says Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., an L.A.-based licensed clinical psychologist and author of the book You Are Why You Eat.
Vranich agrees that a little tenderness goes a long way: “It says, ‘You have overcome and accomplished so much in your life, you can do this (weight loss), too,’ without once mentioning the words ‘diet,’ ‘calories,’ or ‘workouts.’ It’s quite brilliant, actually.”
3. It makes us feel valid. You have to believe that you are worth the effort to make a change, Vranich notes. “The value you put in wanting to look and feel better is important, and this ad puts that goal in line with other life goals,” she says. And one of the best ways to encourage you to make a long-term, healthy behavioral change is to appreciate yourself, Durvasula adds. “Appreciating something leads us to care for it.”