• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

Oprah Winfrey knows how hard it can be to lose weight—and to keep it off.

In October, the television titan announced that she became a spokesperson for Weight Watchers just after she purchased 10 percent of the company's shares. Following in the footsteps of the brand's previous celebrity spokespeople (Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Hudson, Sarah Ferguson, Jenny McCarthy and Lynn Redgrave), Winfrey filmed a commercial to promote her partnership. The U.K.'s advertisement was released via YouTube on Christmas Eve, and Winfrey's U.S. campaign is expected to roll out soon.

The one-minute video shows Winfrey sitting in a chair and explaining why she joined Weight Watchers. "Inside every overweight woman is a woman she knows she can be. Many times you look in the mirror and you don't even recognize your own self because you got lost—buried—in the weight that you carry. Nothing you've ever been through is wasted, so every time I tried and failed, every time I tried again, and every time I tried again, has brought me to this most powerful moment to say, 'If not now, when?'" says Winfrey, whose best friend Gayle King is also a member. "I feel that way, and I know million son other people feel that way. Are you ready? Let's do this together."

 

Winfrey joined the program in August and lost 15 lbs. by the time she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in late October. "I am excited about Weight Watchers being able to bring a healthier more holistic approach for everybody," she told Ellen DeGeneres.

In November, during a conference call with analysts, Weight Watchers CEO Jim Chambers confirmed that Winfrey "will be part of the upcoming winter season marketing effort, inviting prospective members to join her on her journey." The partnership is already seeing returns, he added. "We have seen significant improvement in visitors to our website, which has translated into a strong response in the business," Chambers said.

Winfrey's involvement with Weight Watchers isn't just making her thinner—it's making her richer. The 61-year-old's stake in the company was worth $43.2 million the day she bought it. As of November, that investment was valued at more than $145 million.