December 30, 2010

Dear Special K,

I'd like to tell you that your "What will you gain when you lose" campaign is full of shit.

I'll make this short because your commercials offend me. And if you don't know me, there really isn't a lot that I take offense to. Even when it comes to diet and weight loss issues.

If you haven't seen the ads or are unaware of the campaign, here's a link to a news release:

"It truly is not what the numbers on the scale read, but how you feel about yourself that allows you to project beauty and confidence to the world," said Jesper Lund Jacobsen, associate director, Special K® brand. "That is what the new Special Kbrand campaign is all about, reminding women of the positive emotional benefits that come from reaching weight-management goals. It's not what you lose, but what you gain in the process that translates into the real reward.

 While I see where Special K is trying to go with their message by empowering women to take their weight issues into their own hands. I do not agree with the strategy behind using adjectives like "Sass", "Self-Belief" or "Passion" to describe what you get when you lose weight.

This image belongs to the Kellogg Corp. I just nabbed it from their site,, please don't sue me.

I'm not sure how anyone else has taken these commercials, but this is how I see it:
"You cannot possibly be happy with yourself. You're fat and miserable. You posses neither sass nor self-belief because you are fat. So when you take our "challenge" you'll lose that pesky weight and gain everything you couldn't have when you were 30+ pounds overweight. Plus, we have this nifty tag line. Get it? 'What will you gain when you lose?'"

 Now if I read correctly, their spokesperson says "It's what you gain during the process that translates into the real reward." But the commercials come across like no one can be happy and feel whole unless they lose weight. They're making it a self esteem issue.
There are plenty of women who posses sass, self-belief and confidence (and to be honest, these women inspire me). It really is all about health. Why don't we focus on motivating people to take care of themselves, and if losing weight is part of that process, celebrate it? I think the way this campaign has an issue with its wording and not so much its motivation. Healthy = ok. Being overweight and happy with yourself = ok too.

I'd really like to hear what others think about this, if you've seen the commercials.


  1. I think I meandered here via twitter. Beautiful artwork, great blog- I'm a fan :))