I was in the dentist’s office a few weeks ago and was startled by a Newsweek cover story about Oprah Winfrey entitled: “Crazy Talk: Oprah, Wacky Cures and You.”
When I flipped to the article, it was like being bombarded by a dozen magalog headlines at once.
“Live Your Best Life Ever! Wish Away Cancer! Get A Lunchtime Face-Lift! Eradicate Autism! Turn Back The Clock! Thin Your Thighs! Cure Menopause! Harness Positive Energy! Erase Wrinkles! Banish Obesity! Live Your Best Life Ever!”
I thought, “hey, did one of my copywriter friends help cook up this piece?”
As the article mentions, the real life Oprah is an unapproachable billionairess who flies on a private jet and hangs out with Hollywood film stars. She’s as opposite from her core viewer as possible.
But the TV Oprah is a down-to-earth everywoman — full of the same pedestrian shortcomings as the great, unwashed TV-land masses — and best exemplified by her life-long weight struggle.
Even Oprah’s tacit blessing of a product creates an avalanche of free trial offers for the latest berry or skin cream concoction, promoted via the now ubiquitous weight loss flog (fake blog) and loaded with as much manufactured proof as they can muster.
The article is fascinating reading for direct marketers because it really digs into the drivers for products and markets that seem to open up overnight after an airing on Oprah.