(I don’t usually write satire, but – in rare cases like this one – I feel compelled. The first paragraph is honest-to-blog factual, but after that, you take me seriously at your own risk. Kthxbai.)
Late last week, Jenny Craig announced that they’re dropping human celebrities from their ads in favor of new, animated models. The move follows a recent Ace Metrix report, which suggests that ads without celebrities do better than ads with celebrities. Jenny Craig is determined to take the concept one step further and see how their ads do without humans, period.
“We’re all very excited about this shift,” says marketing director and company spokesperson, Annie Bodde. “Really, it’s been the logical direction for our company to take for some time, and we expect others will follow suit. The old ‘before-and-after’ advertising [involving humans] had such built-in limitations. So many times, we were restricted to a single day of filming, and so we were literally trying to turn a really beautiful body into an ugly ‘before’ shot just with lighting and all that. Even when we’d get a chance to use a model — someone we’d shelled out a significant chunk of change to see lose some weight — there’d be that dreaded ‘after-the-after’ period, when 95% of our human models would regain what they’d lost. So, basically, we were expending a lot of energy transforming that after-the-after period into a new-before. And ultimately the whole process just created a lot of preposition-based confusion, and you know, none of us signed on to be English majors.”
Asked about potential models for the new campaign, Bodde was coy. “There’s a lot still in the works, but I can give you a couple of leads. We’re still in talks with some heavy-hitters. Think Marvel, you know? Think Mattel.”
Although many of these “heavy hitters” have yet to be signed, some initial celebrities are coming forward. Princess Ariel, who gained fame following her leading role in biopic The Little Mermaid, has signed on as one of the first pixelated-models for the new campaign. The Princess, who has – in recent decades – largely shifted her focus from film to merchandising, considers partnering with Jenny Craig a logical next step in her career.
“I’ve been tied to many products in the past – beginning with action figures and moving increasingly toward cosmetics and my line of bath accessories. What’s exciting about this partnership for me is that I no longer have to sell a product; I can be the product. I mean, my ‘body’ type can. And that’s such a relief, from a production standpoint, because there’s literally nothing I have to do to maintain that.”
Asked about the controversy surrounding the company’s choice, The Princess does not mince words. She terms the detractors “guppies” and adds, “I can’t believe [companies like Jenny Craig] haven’t approached digital models in the past. I may have needed Ursula’s help to lose those pesky gills and tails, (laughs), but I have had no trouble maintaining this waistline. I have had no trouble keeping up a ‘body’ like this, which – let’s face it – would be impossible for most [non-digital] children.”
Fellow Jenny Craig model, Gaston, agrees.
“It will be much, much easier for us,” says the body-builder, who declines comment on both his criminal past and the rumors of his untimely death. “Let’s stick to what matters,” he says. “In the past, I was downing a good 5 dozen eggs a day. I was roughly the size of a barge, granted, but the upkeep. Finally, my boy Lefou says to me, ‘You don’t have to do this. You’re animated.’ And it was like a light bulb- y’know- lit. You have to keep in mind, animated food has zero calories. Those eggs had zero protein – ZILCH. So all these things you hear about – eating well, exercising – they have even less to do with our ‘body’ types than they do for human models. We’re at a clear advantage, on account of our not being people.”
With that perspective in mind, Jenny Craig is set to pull existing ads and roll out new, animated spots in the next few weeks. The company and its new models remain optimistic about their success.
“This move, it’s just a no-brainer,” says Princess Ariel. “These products simply work much, much better for those of us who don’t have bodies.”
(Despite my deep-seated desire to make Ariel my BFF, I have no rights to said princess, nor to that sassy cad, Gaston. In keeping with my desire to distance myself from all things diet-culture, I also have no rights to or affiliations with the Jenny Craig company. Aight? Aight.)