Metabolife Debuts Work From NYCA

LOS ANGELES NYCA breaks its initial campaign for diet supplement Metabolife Complete today, which includes the first 30-second TV commercial in the company’s 14-year existence.

The Encinitas, Calif.-based independent’s effort for cable and syndication consists of one 30-second spot and a 10-second iteration, as well as a print component including full- and third-page ads. Although Metabolife has relied heavily on radio in the past—the company’s adspend of about $15 million in 2003 included approximately $7 million in radio, according to Nielson Monitor-Plus—that will not be a major factor in this campaign, said agency CEO and creative director Michael Mark.

The 30-second spot, slated to run for 10 weeks on cable networks such as TLC, E! and VH1, and in syndication with programs including Oprah and Wheel of Fortune, is “all about empowerment,” said Mark. In the spot, which features non-celebrity actresses speaking directly to the camera, women of various ages, shapes and sizes say with determination, “Look at me!”

The ads show the dieter as a competitor, explained Mark. “They’re very athletic that way, goal-oriented,” he said. “It’s all about the consumer and her mission to lose. It’s the women versus the weight.”

To prepare for the campaign, NYCA staffers met with patients in Metabolife’s clinical-studies groups, interviewing them before, during and after their monitored use of the product. A supplement-fact disclaimer is included in both the TV and print copy, but the ads are “accurate representations” of real-life success stories, said Mark.

An $11 million media buy also includes three months of print advertising, beginning in August issues of magazines such as Cosmopolitan, People and Glamour. Juxtaposing either a close-up of a woman’s face or a shot of a woman in a bikini with the word “Me” embedded in Metabolife’s signature yellow starburst, the print ads suggest an attitude of empowerment with the taglines, “Me on a winning system” and “Me on a tiny tummy system.”

NYCA, a shop with estimated annual billings of $40 million, won the San Diego-based Metabolife account in March 2004 without a review.