Oprah and Weight Watchers: the Celebrity Effect

We have a celebrity presidency, the Republican base so dazzled by Trump’s ultimate reality TV rendition of Life in the Oval Office that they are willing to cast aside any and all traditional Republican positions re trade, immigration, and balanced budgets just to be part of the Trump train.

Oprah has had a similar, although more salutary, effect on the fortunes of Weight Watchers. Membership in the longstanding weight loss program had lagged, as people become more cynical about the dieting leading to sustainable weight loss. Enter Oprah, who has made the ups and downs of her weight part of her captivating life story. She agreed to become a spokesperson, and bought a big chunk of WW stock. Voila! Her advocacy, combined with Weight Watchers’ adopting a broader focus on overall wellness, has revived the fortunes of the company and added to Oprah’s considerable fortune as well.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/aug/08/weight-watchers-oprah-effect-regain-americans-trust?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Business+Today&utm_term=282959&subid=4223230&CMP=business_today

So are we in a celebrity driven world, and do we need a celebrity to rival Trump in 2020? God I hope not. If so, it’s apparently not going to be Oprah. After a flurry of interest after her well-received Golden Globes speech earlier in 2018, there was a push for her to be the nominee of the Democratic party. Seems she’s decided that getting down into the weeds with a nasty piece of work like Trump is not what she needs. I’d have to agree. She, unlike Trump, is a genuinely successful entrepreneur worth almost 3B dollars. Her net worth is real assets, not the inflated brand value that Trump assigns to himself and his money grubbing offspring. And her name and advocacy are clearly magic with a large swathe of the buying public.

I like Oprah. She’s a multi-talented woman, smart about business. She seems a decent human being. Why would she need to add political stripes to her profile, given what U.S. politics has become?

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