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Guerilla Weight-Loss Ad Campaign: Cool or Not?

A recent guerrilla ad campaign has got folks in NYC a little up in arms. The Ad Council and the US Department of Health and Human Services placed tiny T-shirts in dryers throughout the city urging those doing their laundry to “shrink a few sizes.”

The campaign, done by McCann Erickson, then sends the shirt finders to HHS’s Smallstep site, which takes it a bit further by encouraging those visiting to “shed those holiday pounds, reduce their risk for obesity, and lead a healthy lifestyle.”

I am usually all for unique ad campaigns, but this ones doesn't really do it for me. What do you guys think?

Join The Conversation
kaenai kaenai 9 years
That's really rude and an awful thing to do. Considering that they don't know the people personally, and have no idea what may be going on in their lives or with their health, doing something like that could (is) more harmful than anything else. There are those out there with the emotional incapacity to deal with that sort of insult. I'd be willing to bet that the people who really don't need to lose the weight or those who've never really struggled with it are the ones who think it's a good idea.
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 9 years
I support the intention, but this is just plain rude! Some people might be struggling to GAIN weight, or they may be slightly overweight but healthy and happy with their bodies. Or worse, they might be struggling to lose weight already, and something like that is like a slap in the face to those people. Finding a baby-size T-shirt among my laundry will not motivate me to lose weight! If they've got some extra money, instead of spending it on crap like this, how about offering people a free tiral at the gym or a discount on some sports equipment? There are much better ways of motivating people to lose weight!
Ultress Ultress 9 years
i'm with javsmav. having lived all over the u.s (and a current resident of nyc)--maybe ohio or texas would have been a better target.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
Okay, so it's not exactly the most tactful program, but people are too sensitive sometimes. I mean, it's kinda cute, and it's true that a LOT of people in this country need to get healthier. But I agree with the poster who said that NY doesn't exactly make the most sense. If you've watched Supersize Me you know that New Yorkers walk more than those in other cities, so the idea of a southern or midwestern city makes much more sense.
Bookish Bookish 9 years
I think the money could have been better spent on some cheap pedometers- with a little note encouraging people to get more steps per day. A tiny t-shirt is cute, but if it's too small to wear, it's going to be thrown away. Why not spend the money on something useful?
sahayra sahayra 9 years
I think it's a good idea. People are just too sensitive.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
I think it's a bit rude and harsh and just generally tasteless, though it would probably get the point across - and like people have said, not necessarily just to its intended targets.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
Genius idea poorly implemented. I think it's more likely to piss people off than help anyone, so what's the POINT? Someone's seriously going to see a little tee in their laundry and say to their selves: You know what, this little t-shirt is right! I hadn't thought about losing weight! No.
GrapeBubbleGum GrapeBubbleGum 9 years
javsmav - I immediately thought of the same thing. This could be good for people that DO need to lose weight, but I think it could be horrible for people that body image problems. hell, i'm not overweight but I'd be hurt and offended if I found one of those things. I'd think someone did it on purpose as a cruel joke.
juju4 juju4 9 years
I feel that this campaign just assumes that ANYONE who finds one of these shirts is going to need to drop some pounds. How awful if you found one and thought that someone INTENTIONALLY mixed that shirt in with your clothes because they thought you were overweight? That would give me a complex, regardless of whether I was healthy or not.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
javsmav took the words right out of my mouth! What a horrible thing to do. It has nothing to do with irony or a sense of humor. I think done a bit differently the campaign is quite cute, but could really backfire for that percentage of girls (and boys!) who are already thinking that they can never be too thin.
jkat jkat 9 years
sarah I was just going to post the same thing!
sarahcateh sarahcateh 9 years
Is it bad that that hamburger looks really good to me?
javsmav javsmav 9 years
Why NY? New yorkers tend to be skinnier. And all I can think of is one of the thousands of anorexic NY girls pulling out her laundry and being urged to drop a few pounds when she should be adding a few pounds. Sure there are overweight people in NY (and of course not all NY girls are anorexic), but compared to other cities, NY is pretty healthy. I'd like to see the campaign in a mid-western or southern city.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
free clothes!
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
I think it's a play on marketing and health. It's cute. Americans do NOT understand irony and have NO sense of humor..
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
It does seem a little rude to me...but it's the honest truth. Loosing a few pounds will make you healthier...
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