Using consumer insights to drive sales in your advertising (hint: they don’t just belong in your concepts!)

Using consumer insights to drive sales in your advertising (hint: they don’t just belong in your concepts!)

I’ve seen all sorts of TV commercials for diet plans (trust me, I’m squarely in the target market!), but the ones I see most regularly are Marie Osmond’s for Nutrisystem®. Now, I go way back with Marie Osmond as a huge teenaged fan of her TV series in the ‘70s with her purple sock-wearing brother, Donny, that was simply called “The Donny and Marie Show.” I’m sure those of you who are my age are immediately rocketed back to a simpler time where we still gathered around a television with our families and a bowl of popcorn to watch favorites like this one, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and more.

So I’m amazed to see how great this similarly-aged TV phenom I grew up with looks today, all because of this diet (and perhaps a fair amount of cosmetic surgery). I see the ads while working out, usually between the hours of 6 and 7 a.m., and while I’m huffing and puffing and perspiring to get fit, the ads for Nutrisystem inevitably tell me how easy it is to lose the weight and showcase a variety of successful dieters who have done so using their plan.

But until recently, the ads just didn’t do anything for me. They didn’t inspire me to want to sign up or “eat the food” or “lose up to 13 pounds in the first month”—despite the hard work in the wee hours of the morning on my treadmill, bike and elliptical with little or no return. But recently, a new Nutrisystem TV commercial caught my attention as though it was speaking RIGHT TO ME!

It had me hooked in the first five seconds, speaking to me eye-to-eye as I watched from my treadmill, yet again covered in sweat from an early morning workout. What was different about this one?

Connecting with consumers with the almighty insight

I knew it almost as soon as the commercial ended. I played it back quickly in my mind and realized that for once, Nutrisystem started the commercial connecting with its target audience (read: ME!) by doing something they hadn’t done in previous commercials: they started the ad with a consumer insight (a problem that their product can address for the consumer).

Instead of beginning like many of their other commercials by showcasing a woman or man (or Marie Osmond) who has lost a barbell full of weight, this one started by connecting with the type of women who struggle with diets: busy ones. Like me. And like thousands, if not millions, of other women like me. Too busy to fit in a workout unless it’s at 6 a.m. before work. Too busy to attend meetings and count points and calories and weigh foods. And this ad told me in the first 5 seconds that this diet plan was for women like me. Wow. They had me at “hello.”

Connecting with your target audience by letting them know you “get” them is not only important in your new product concepts but remains important in your advertising as well. After all, we’ve discussed the importance of concepts creating a bridge to your advertising in prior blog posts. What better way than by keeping the elements that were important in the success of your concept along for the ride in your advertising?

But the insights alone aren’t enough to tell the whole story in the ad, and Nutrisystem doesn’t disappoint here either. They quickly followed up the insightful connection with their succinct list of features and benefits—no counting calories, no meetings. It’s easy to lose weight for busy people. Bam. Succinct, compelling story well-grounded in good concept writing. Well played, Nutrisystem! Well played.

Want help figuring out how to use consumer insights to speak to your consumers? Let us help you build solid concepts using our proprietary tools and processes for your next product launch.

Headshot of Patti Purcell, Writing by Design president

Patti Purcell brings 25+ years of journalism and marketing skills together to provide national and international companies with outstanding concept writing services via the company she founded in 2006, Writing by Design, LLC. She and her growing team, based in Wisconsin, have written hundreds of concepts and achieved many successful A.C. Nielsen BASES test scores over the last 10 years using their Crystal Clear™ concept writing methodology.