The Spot: Beside Themselves

Past and future selves meet in Medifast's emotional new weight-loss campaign

IDEA: If you could speak to your past or future self—literally—what would you say? How would you feel if your future self had made changes you'd only dreamed of making? Or your past self was still trapped and miserable, unable—until now—to move forward? Weight-loss company Medifast wades into these deep waters in its new campaign, taking "before" and "after" images of its customers—the oldest trick in the diet-marketing book—and putting them in motion, to poignant effect. For three new ads, it filmed three people before starting a diet and again eight months later. Thanks to some nifty editing, it then got the heavier and slimmer versions of each person to appear to talk to each other in real time about reaching their cherished goal. In a category full of celebrities and appeals to vanity, Medifast saw a chance to dig deeper. "Whenever I meet people who've done the program, invariably they start crying. But I had never seen an emotional approach," said Michael Decker, vp of brand marketing and creative services. "That was my challenge to the agency: Find an emotional hook for this category."