WW magazine

Driving a generational brand shift for the iconic weight-loss and healthy living program.

the idea

Founded in the early 1960s, Weight Watchers has supported, nurtured and helped change the lives of millions around the world with its fundamentals of healthy eating, keeping active and being mindful of the behavioural patterns that lead to weight gain. With alarming increases in obesity, Weight Watchers is as relevant now as it was half a century ago. However, newcomers to the market have challenged the brand to re-establish its credentials with a new audience. The charge is being led by content that takes those core healthy living principles and gives them a context that is modern, holistic, authentic and passionate.

 

Moving away from body-conscious weight management to a sense of good health that is energetic, spirited, fulfilling and empowering

THE SOLUTION

The content partnership began in 2010 when BauerWorks began producing branded cookbooks for Weight Watchers. The bold move pioneered at the outset was to take the books, previously sold in member meetings only, into the retail market. The initiative was a success, with Weight Watchers titles achieving sales comparable to non-branded titles within the first 12 months.

In 2013, Weight Watchers expanded the partnership with BauerWorks to include the monthly magazine and the production of member publications, including weekly guides and program materials. For the relaunch of the magazine, BauerWorks overhauled the design to reflect brand values of simplicity and clarity. The renewed and re-energised magazine had instant impact, with the relaunch issue recording scan sales 36% higher than the issue immediately before it, produced by another publisher. A proactive marketing strategy saw subscription rates climb steadily since launch to the current figure of 15,000-plus.

 

Two years later, with Weight Watchers wishing to re-establish itself in the face of digital innovations and new competitors, BauerWorks developed a transformative content strategy that would prompt the market into a radical reappraisal of the brand. Covers that focused on body shape were replaced by covers demonstrating the tangible and holistic benefits of healthy living: more energy, more confidence, strength, pride, a sense of beauty and a feeling of happiness. And where content was once restrictively focused on Weight Watchers members, it now embraces the health community more broadly, telling the stories of Weight Watchers members, their friends and family, and celebrating the heroes of healthy living, from cafe owners and chefs to gardeners and athletes.

the impact

BauerWorks has continued to evolve the book-publishing strategy for Weight Watchers, expanding the range, increasing frequency and broadening the audience. Weight Watchers branded cookbooks and health books are now represented in the majority of Coles supermarkets, a significant proportion of Woolworths supermarkets, newsagents and book stores across Australia.

 

In its first year, the initial magazine arrested circulation decline against category trends and succeeded in driving the highest level of inspiration across all magazines (Ipsos Emma Engagement Study 2014). The work was recognised with the 2013 Publishers Australia Excellence Award for Custom Magazine of the Year.

 

The content-based brand transformation for Weight Watchers launched in September 2015 now stretches across print and digital assets.

 

Asian Publishing Awards 2014
Shortlisted for most innovative e-replica of print

Asian Publishing Awards 2013 GOLD: for content development expressing editorial personality across channels

SOPA Awards 2013
Honourable mention magazine design

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