>> Wednesday, January 20, 2010
We’ll be writing a lot about this subject in the coming weeks, as we address the financial opportunity that exists in giving your brand (or business) a purpose in the lives of consumers when it comes to their own health & wellness choices.
The New York Times reported a few weeks ago that 75% of the $2.5 trillion spent in healthcare in the US today is directed at four chronic diseases:
Type 2 Diabetes
While all of these may have hereditary sources, there is no doubt that personal lifestyle choices play a significant factor in all of them. And if you drill down into the numbers, the scale and impact of the way things are currently going is startling: it is projected that the percentage of Americans who meet the criteria of “obese” will more than double in the next eight years – rising from 9% today to 20% in 2018. However, if the percentage of “obese” Americans fell to 1987 levels, the amount of healthcare costs that would be freed up would be enough to cover all of our nation’s uninsured.
Think about it: if we could simply address the obesity issue and help Americans make healthier choices that would take this endemic to the levels of 22 years ago, much of the financial strain of the healthcare crisis evaporates.
But what’s the real value of wellness to your own brand or business?
IBM reported that its investment in health & wellness initiatives, of about $80 million over the past several years, has yielded the company an estimated $190 million in savings (a combination of healthcare savings and less ‘lost time’ due to illness leaves or missed days). The same New York Times story profiled a company called “The Full Yield”, which helps companies and people improve their own health & well being by putting food at the heart of their personal healthcare. Diet makes a difference – doctors have noted that changing diets can help undo the symptoms of even severe heart disease, with one physician noting that they had seen improved blood flow in some patients within one month of making the change.
We have an opinion at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness that people want to feel better, and that ‘wellness’ represents – on an intensely personal level – the same sort of sea change that greening and the environment represents on a macro-economic scale. Consumers attach value to feeling better – and will pay for it (and we believe, in the future, increasingly insist that brands deliver on this front). In the case of IBM, it represented ‘found money’ – and in the case of some other brands, wellness represents new growth. What’s the potential value of wellness for your brand?
>> Thursday, January 14, 2010
It’s an old truism that people band together in times of grief. And the response to the disaster in
“As of midday Thursday, the Red Cross had raised some $3 million in donations via its text message campaign: Text "
On Facebook, over 91,000 people have joined the group “EVERY PERSON THAT JOINS WE WILL DONATE $1 TO HELP PEOPLE IN HAITI!.”
What’s also key is the interaction of mainstream and social media. While every news channel this morning reported from the ground in
Media working in concert to bring people together: now that’s social.
By the way, if you’re still thinking about a donation, check out this page at cnn.com for a list of fundraisers.
Hoping this finds you well,
>> Tuesday, January 12, 2010
What matters more? Getting out those pesky stains -- or making your clothes last longer? P&G has invested in a clever new campaign for Tide (developed with, among others, our friends at Saatchi & Saatchi) that goes right to the heart of a key insight: it matters less what a product can do (remove stains) than what it can do for you (lets you keep wearing your clothes longer).
In our 2009 survey on Wellness & the Economy, consumers told us they were shopping less, especially for clothes, as one way to maintain their financial well-being. On the flip side, closet shopping is up!
The folks on Team Tide clearly understood these sentiments, creating a message that speaks right to the wellness zeitgeist: you can feel good about saving money on new clothes – and love the clothes you have even more. There’s even a different kind of value proposition: buying Tide is a smarter economic decision because it helps you hang on to what you have.
Thanks to Tide for showing that loving the (clean) clothes you’re in is another way to express wellness!
Here’s hoping you’re well,
>> Friday, January 8, 2010
By now you’ve surely heard about Dove’s Superbowl entry for their new Men&Care line. Commentators don’t seem to expect a ‘real beauty” campaign for men -- though I don’t see why not! – but I think there’s something truly wonderful about the Dove’s choice to market traditional “beauty”-type products to what used to be called the sterner sex. (As opposed to the ladies, who were known as the “gentler” sex – ha!).
As we evolve both personally and culturally, it only seems fair to allow men the cultural freedom to enjoy, and improve, their appearance.
One of our three main watchwords for the year is Reinvention – so it’s right on trend for Dove to help normal guys across the country reinvent their morning and evening skincare routines. (Or for some, let’s just say, “invent” their routines.) While men's luxury skincare brands have been around for some time, Dove has put themselves at the forefront of a potential mainstream movement.
Wellness this year also means taking responsibility for improving your life in whatever ways are most meaningful to you. So for all you guys out there who’ve been longing for softer, smoother skin, the field is yours.
Hope this finds you well!
>> Wednesday, January 6, 2010
>> Tuesday, January 5, 2010
It’s only the first week of January … but it already feels like we’re deep into the year! Hard to believe that only a few days ago, most of us were thinking about what the year would bring … and what we want to do better, or more of, or less of, in the next twelve months.
Speaking for myself, my resolution to go to the gym every day is already suffering. And I don’t even want to admit to everything else I said I’d do! If that sounds anything like what you’re going through, here’s a tip from author Jonah Lehrer that ran in last week's Wall Street Journal: don’t tackle every good idea at once – instead, spread out your resolutions over the whole year.
Why? The part of the brain responsible for willpower – the pre-frontal cortex – has a lot of other jobs to do. As Jonah writes, “scientists have discovered that this chunk of cortex is also in charge of keeping us focused, handling short-term memory and solving abstract problems. Asking it to lose weight is often asking it to do one thing too many.”
But all is not lost. The trick may be to focus on one thing at a time. In one experiment, focusing on improved posture for two weeks led to more self-control in other areas.
So this New Year, I’m resolved to make the whole year about renewal – one gym date at a time.
Hope this finds you well!
>> Monday, January 4, 2010
Flying back to New York on New Year's Day, we arrived at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport with kids & bags, ready for a not-so-long winter's nap on the flight to JFK. We had everything figured out perfectly: a full day of sun & pool & food for kids to have them asleep shortly after we pushed back from the gate. As soon as we got out of the car, we realized even the best laid plans get waylaid.