Ad of the Day: Weight Watchers

Chew on this weird, mouthy French campaign from Fred & Farid

While American viewers are being subjected to Charles Barkley in Weight Watchers commercials, the French are getting something even weirder—an artful yet off-putting campaign from Fred & Farid featuring colorful, almost threatening close-ups of women's mouths.

The campaign is called "Treat Yourself Better," but it might as well be called "Dieting Dentata." The aggressive pop-art TV and print work all focuses relentlessly on glossy-lipped women biting into everything from lettuce and lollipops to chicken drumsticks and wriggly fish—an outpouring of defiance against the frustration of other diet plans in favor of one that apparently lets you eat pretty much anything you want. The visuals, steeped in oral fixation, are undeniably suggestive, and walk a weird line between empowering and degrading. The TV spot is dynamic enough to possibly be motivating for women, but the print work (scroll down) is borderline obscene, and so stylized as to seem completely removed from the emotional touch points that govern people's relationship with food.

The music, a new version of Brigitte Bardot's "Tu Veux ou Tu Veux Pas," reinforces the message of resistance, painting the difference between Weight Watchers and its rivals as night and day. Maybe the same can be said for what prompts French women to diet compared to Americans. All that said, it's masterfully art directed, and puts Fred & Farid squarely in the running for this summer's Cannes Grand Prix in Press—an honor that the Paris agency previously won for its Wrangler work. That is, unless the judges decide that this time they bit off more than they can chew.


Client: Weight Watchers France

Campaign: "Treat Yourself Better"

Agency: Fred & Farid, Paris

Creative Directors: Fred & Farid

Copywriter: Feng Huang

Art directors: Feng Huang, Pierre Jouffray

Advertiser supervisors: Corinne Pollier, Yannick Hnatkow, Karen Skalski

Agency supervisors: Isabelle Constant, Julie Badin

Agency producers: Emmanuelle Grenier, Teodora Berglund

Agency editor: Jason Freites

Agency post production: Katharina Nicol

Art buying: Carmela Guiragossian

Director/Photographer: Rankin

Production company/Producer: Rene Hauser

Music: Green United Music

Post-production: Reepost