Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers are both trying to market themselves to men. Good luck with that. The only question is which effort is more doomed to failure. You decide.
Weight Watchers has new ads out, saying: "Eat like a man, not like a rabbit." But the macho tone is so forced — it's Weight Watchers, people. That's like Victoria's Secret coming out with a line of men's underwear. Victoria's Secret for Men: "Be her hunk, not her hubby." (Pretty good tag line actually.)
Jenny Craig is in an even tougher position. The company is named after a woman, which further reinforces all the female associations with weight loss programs and dieting. So who do they hire as their spokesman? Maybe some real macho guy to counteract the existing brand equity? No. They hire Jason Alexander. Better known as George from Seinfeld – brilliantly funny, but bumbling, incompetent at work, physically unfit, unattractive to women (except for women who boss him around), neurotic, and generally pathetic in all things. Pretty much the exact opposite of what any man should strive to be: self-respecting, decisive, emotionally solid, physically healthy and strong, and confident in yourself and your life's purpose. (Do all of the above and you will be attractive to women. Strive for their approval, like George, and they'll either ignore you or walk all over you.)
Actually, come to think of it, Jason Alexander is a brilliant choice. Jenny Craig for Men is a weight loss program for men who can be nagged into doing half-measures. For men who can't decisively do one of two things: 1) Say, "I'm fat. So what. Deal with it." or 2) Take their health into their own hands.
Jason Alexander: King of the Pushovers.
Look at the pic they have up of him. He's wearing a lavender shirt that matches the lavender paisley wall-paper. (Is that paisley? I don't know.) Look, I've got nothing against any particular color — with the possible exception of Funeral Home Lavender that matches the upholstery. Wear some purple, man. And does he look confident? No. He looks just as awkward and pathetic as he did on Seinfeld, except this time it's not funny. Caption contest for what is going through his head in that picture.
If I ran Jenny Craig, I would have created a separately branded sub-line called Daniel Craig. Or better yet, how about eating and moving like hunter-gatherers in the wild?
My book will be out next year.