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

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

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.


12 Responses to “Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig don’t appeal to men, never will”

  1. I’ve learn some good stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much effort you put to make this sort of great informative site.

  2. grace says:

    YOU CR*CK ME THE H*LL UP! I second the motion for a ’DANIEL Craig’ sub-line!!   Make that 7 points, 007… *haa*

  3. Mark says:

     John, one of your best posts thus far! Weight-Watchers and Jenny Craig are not complete systems but, rather, half-measures that rarely work for the long-term. Frankly, I don’t even think these diets are appropriate for "real" men or women.

  4. Paleobeast says:

    "Are you going to eat that eclair?"

  5. Raleigh says:

     Weight watchers truly does work for some people. one of my best friends has lost 150 pounds and kept it off for three years. but he said it was more the support.

  6. Dave, RN says:

    I have an friend who’s been on Jenny Craig. Needless to say what little he did lose, came back because once you reach yor goal… what are you going to do, eat JC meals the rest of your life? Even after his goal, and especailly now, he’s got a serious case of "Dunlops Disease" where his belly’s "dun lopped" over his belt. :) So far it looks like the answer is to pull his pants up farther, since the waist has disappeared.

  7. Kent Cowgill says:

     Here’s what’s going through his head:


    "I hope there’s a toilet nearby…"


    With the junk they feed you, you can never be too far from a bathroom.

  8. Steve says:

    I agree that he was a bad choice, and with much of what you say, but I think you were a bit harsh on him. I bet he has no problem with the ladies (if he’s into that sort of thing), because he’s got something else that chicks dig: CASH.

  9. Chuck Pruitt says:

    Caption suggestion for what’s going thru Jason’s head:

    "Can you believe I’m actually getting paid for this?"

    You’re so right, John.  Forget the temporary diets and adopt a paleo/primal eating plan.  Right now I’m eating according to the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson and loving it.  Results have been positive and it really is about controlling one’s insulin.  Getting my Type 2 Diabetes under control without any meds.  Minimal, even incidental carbs only is working out great for me.

    • Aaron Curl says:

      "Why did Seinfeld have to go off the air? Now look at what I have to do. Lets get this over with and give me my paycheck!" I would like to see some extended research on the success rate of Jenny Craig dieters. I could probably guess the results…FAIL.

  10. JSA says:

    I thought people always liked George because he kept stumbling into relationships with women who were too good for him. Maybe that’s a stretch in terms of marketing appeal. Great post though.

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