Weight Watchers: The Heavy Hitter in the Weight Loss Wars

Charles Barkley, Terry Bradshaw, Dan Marino, Jason Alexander—What do these men have in common? Washed up? No longer relevant?…Oops, sorry, just having a little fun. These men all star in commercials for weight loss companies.

Men need to lose weight too, so targeting men is an important step for weight loss companies like Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers.

Weight Watchers seems the clear winner with a very manly ad and the advantage of clients being able to eat real, everyday food.

“Lose like a man.” From their tagline, to their choice of spokesman (Charles Barkley), to the keywords they use in their ads, Weight Watchers seems to be doing everything right to attract the male customers they seek.

The key? Weight Watchers is proving they know men. I’ve said this so many times—“know your audience.” Weight Watchers surely does.

They scored big when Frank Caliendo did a spoof of their Charles Barkley ad during Fox NFL Sunday. Poor Frank ended up losing like a man after he picked the Giants to lose a playoff game. But Weight Watchers got valuable free airtime that in a fun way still promoted their product. Can’t get much cooler or manly than that.

It’s not just the commercials that are beating the competition. Weight Watchers website is geared more for men too.

Snapshot of Weight Watchers for Men website

Their website hits the right color scheme and men can immediately sense the site is made for them. They’re not made to feel like visitors on a site for women.

Charles Barkley stands out in a simple, yet appealing way. You’ll also hear his voice on a series of videos on the site featuring real men—real clients. There’s Kevin the coal miner who lost 98 pounds. He talks about how he still eats hot dogs and easily works in info on Weight Watchers’ mobile app.

The different men in the videos all use keywords that are very appealing to men—hot dogs, pizza, cheat sheets on beer and the grill, quick and easy, and more. They explain and show how to use the mobile app and different features on the website. Type in “pizza,” know how much you can eat. Simple.

Now, the competition could use some work.

Nutrisystem chose manly spokesmen too, but there’s still the problem of Nutrisystem food. What man (or woman, really) wants to eat items that are totally different from what they’re used to and what their family and friends eat?

On their website, men are greeted by former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw and a color scheme that’s better suited for a natural products website. Yes, some men may find that appealing, but it pales in comparison to Weight Watchers bold look.

Snapshot of N/S website for men, light colors & Terry Bradshaw

Jenny Craig drops the ball entirely. You have to really search to find anything for men. They do have a Jen4Men site for Australia and New Zealand, but their USA link doesn’t seem to be working.

To be fair, Jenny Craig does have a problem the other companies don’t—their name suggests a target audience of women only. HUGE disadvantage. What man wants to go to a place where the company’s name is a woman’s?

Ad w/ Charles Barkley says Lose Like a Guy Who Hates Losing

Bottom line is Weight Watchers proves they know their audience and they drive that home with both words and visuals—in their ads and on their website.

Pizza, burgers, wings…men don’t want to live without them, and with Weight Watchers, we don’t have to.

For men, there might not be a more winning line than this.  To cap it off, Barkley ends with, “You can lose like a man and keep your meatballs.”


This is a brand that seems to finally understand men. Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig need to either shape up or tap out.


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