NEW YORK Oxygen Media on Jan. 10 is launching a reality competition with diet management firm Jenny Craig as its sole sponsor.
The six-part series, Tease, pits hair stylists against each other as they compete to beautify Jenny Craig success stories in a showdown hosted by well-coiffed television personality Lisa Rinna.
The show's debut is timed to coincide with the post-holiday push by many consumers to lose unwanted pounds.
What does body shrinkage have to do with hair enhancement?
Plenty, according to Jenny Craig director of branding and advertising Mary Fritz-Wilson. Rewarding Jenny Craig's alumni with new dos is designed to "help our clients celebrate our heritage of success" by giving them "new hair to go with their new bodies," she said.
Each hour-long episode will spotlight Jenny Craig users as they recount their weight-loss stories and share photos, said Michael Yudin, the show's executive producer and managing director of Aegis Group's Carat Entertainment, which brokered the deal on behalf of the diet company.
Audience members will also be invited to go under the scissors.
Jenny Craig will tout its nutritional products and services during traditional 30-second commercial breaks. Client offerings do not appear on the show itself.
The show's target audience is 25-54-year-old women, which dovetails with Jenny Craig and Oxygen's core following.
It's a constituency, like most current TV audiences, that Tease producer and Carat vp Pat Jones believes is too sophisticated to swallow heavy-handed product placements.
"What brings the quality of a product integration higher is not just having the product on the screen [but] to use it organically and seamlessly," said Frank Zazza, CEO of measurement firm ITVX.
The decision to feature customers extends an ongoing campaign hailing weight-loss achievements of non-celebrities. It also served to offset concerns such as, "Does it work for a regular person?" as Fritz-Wilson put it. "These are regular, everyday, real women who need new hair," she said.
Jenny Craig spends more than $50 million annually in domestic measured media. The Nestle subsidiary was "looking to do something different during high seasonality in a space where our competitors are not," said Fritz-Wilson.
To promote the show, signage will be displayed in Jenny Craig stores, and video footage will be streamed on the Web.