Battle of the bulge

Who’s on Top? – December 26, 2016 - January 1, 2017

From December 26, 2016 – January 1, 2017 advertisers spent $137 million on new creatives airing on national television. While consumers were recovering from the rush of the holidays during this time period, advertisers were busy trying to make last minute sales with post-Christmas deals and New Year’s specials.

It’s no surprise that during the week leading up to the start of the New Year advertisers like Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers were flooding the airwaves with an assortment of new creatives. Indeed, weight loss has been and continues to be the number one New Year’s resolution among Americans from year to year and weight management brands can successfully capitalize on consumers motivated to make a change.

Nutrisystem used long-time celebrity spokesperson Marie Osmond in the bulk of its creatives that debuted throughout the week. Osmond, who has backed the brand for a decade, is featured promoting the new Lean13 program. Praising the simplicity of the program, she states “Count, measure, meetings? .. Not with Nutrisystem,” an obvious dig at competitor Weight Watchers.


Weight Watchers featured celebrity spokesperson Oprah Winfrey, who purchased a 10% stake in the company in October 2015, for its ads throughout the week. In a new campaign that kicked off on December 26th, Winfrey discussed how she lost over forty pounds using the program. Unlike Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers only promoted the benefits of its own brand, rather than slighting the competition.


So who’s winning in the battle of the bulge? From January-September 2016, Nutrisystem has been outperforming its rival. The company experienced a 17% growth in sales revenue compared to the prior year, while Weight Watchers’ sales revenue was down 1% during the same period. Perhaps the new flurry of ads featuring Oprah Winfrey can help tip the scales in Weight Watchers’ direction.

This data is part of ongoing reporting we release on a weekly basis. Make sure to check back every week for the next winner, or contact us to learn how you can discover your competitors’ breaking ads on your own in real–time using our AdScope tool. Already an AdScope customer? Log in now and see what your competitors are up to.

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