Jenny Craig may work, but Valerie Bertinelli will no longer be telling you that.
The weight loss company is cutting back on celebrity endorsers, launching a new "Eat. Live. Jenny." campaign, which will use animated ads and real people to promote the diet program instead of famous faces.
While stars such as Jessica Simpson, Charles Barkley, Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey, Valerie Bertinelli and Jason Alexander are among the many celebs who have fronted weight loss campaigns, research shows it's difficult for consumers to distinguish which particular diet product the celebrity is promoting.
Simpson, Hudson, and Barkley have all famously backed Weight Watchers, while Bertinelli, Carey and Alexander have all endorsed Jenny Craig. And if you didn't guess correctly, well, you're not alone.
"The category just has a sea of same," Leesa Eichberger, Jenny Craig CMO, told Ad Age, noting how many mentioned Jennifer Hudson—who has never endorsed the Nestle-owned marketer—when she initially took the job.
Instead of the standard "before and after" celebrity shots we're accustomed to seeing, the new campaign, which was created by Havas Worldwide New York, focuses on simplicity, highlighting the company's portion-controlled food and personalized support.
"It's a change for the category, to actually say what we do," Eichberger said, rather than "go down that same clichéd path that is out there."
But that doesn't mean the weight loss conglomerate has totally severed its ties with Bertinelli—the longtime spokeswoman, who has been a key endorser for the company, will still be on contract.
"Our celebrity ambassadors are great partners," Eichberger explained. "I just don't think they can be the core of our message."
But only time will tell if the new celebrity-free strategy will be a success.
"The new campaign is designed to demonstrate this simplicity clearly and without a lot of hype by focusing on what we do best: great food and one-on-one support," Eichberger said. "The Jenny Craig customer is a woman who is used to succeeding at everything she does. With Jenny Craig, she's given proven and effective tools to help her succeed in her goal of leading a healthy life."
Check out Jenny Craig's new ad below.
And then hit the comments with your thoughts on the company's new approach!