EDiets.com challenges high-spending competitors with DRTV effort

EDiets.com, working with new advertising agency Karlin & Pimsler, will debut a DRTV campaign this month developed to stand out against the company’s better-heeled competitors in the nutritional foods vertical.

The effort, which debuts on September 14, “is a major departure” from eDiets.com’s previous campaigns, which followed its competitors’ models and illustrated the functional benefits of the company, said Kim Evenson, SVP of marketing at eDiets.com. The company previously worked with DRTV agency SendTec, which was acquired by Acquirgy last month.

“I wanted it to be able to communicate, as brand marketing does, the emotional connection there is with a life-changing product,” she said. “In addition, the campaign had to do what direct response does so well, which is drive sales in a way that isn’t yelling at people.”

The company aims to offset the spending advantage of its competitors with the campaign’s creative elements, said Malcolm Karlin, president and CEO of Karlin & Pimsler.

“The problem is that eDiets.com has a smaller budget than Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig, so you have to cut through somehow,” he said. He added that those two competitors often employ multimillion-dollar marketing budgets and celebrity spokespeople.

Using two-minute, 60-second and 30-second spots, the campaign highlights eDiets.com’s delivery of freshly prepared diet meals to customers’ homes by showcasing several chefs preparing food. The sounds of their cooking – pasta being broken, cabbage being chopped and pot lids banging – blend together to create a song intentionally reminiscent of the percussive show “Stomp!” The eDiets.com campaign is called “Chomp!”

The ads, which will run on cable and syndicated TV, also feature four women – eDiets.com customers – singing and dancing to the music, as well as testimonials.

“People think dieting isn’t going to be achievable,” said Evenson. “In this campaign, we were able to communicate that not only is it achievable, but it is also fun.”

She added that eDiets.com expects to spend more on this campaign than it did on past efforts. It will buy additional time if the initiative performs as expected, Evenson added.

“We feel that this is the right time to increase the investment,” she said.

The nutrition company also sees the recession as an opportunity, because a range of its products and services cost less than $5 a week, Evenson noted.

“With the economy being where it is, and people being more aware of their health, there is a really natural fit for eDiets.com,” she continued.

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