As I sit here watching TLC, I have seen the two same Special K commercials about 10 times in the last few hours, and every time I see them, I get a little more irritated.

Take a moment to watch the commercials in this campaign and then continue reading.


The campaign is called “The Gains Project” and yesterday (January 2nd) was suppose to be “Gain Day” where women were to focus not on a number, but on the feeling that they will gain this year when they make the resolution to lose weight. Sounds like a simple and positive concept at first, but when you think about it a little deeper you will come to see that this campaign is deeply flawed.

The Gains Project portion of the Special K website introduces the campaign with the following blurb…

At Special K, we believe we should choose a word – a way we want to feel – and let that be our motivation. In fact, we commissioned a study by Edelman Berland and found that a positive attitude towards weight management might actually help you succeed.

Express your positivity by answering the question “What will you gain when you lose” with a personal gain. Then share it to help inspire women!


Yes, I agree with Special K and Kellogs that positive talk is the start to positive thought, which in turn will help to create a change. But I don’t believe that this message should come with a hitch. The tag line reads “What will you gain when you lose?”. The actress in the first commercial looks into the mirror and says the word “beautiful”. The women in the second commercial look down at a scale and see the words “joy”, “amazing” and so on. As well there is an interactive portion to this campaign where real women visiting the Special K website can enter their own words to show the world what they will gain from losing weight. The website then turns their words into a fluffy little “inspirational” picture that are posted to their website. This “wall” of images is filled with words such as “Confidence”, “Happiness” and “Self Esteem” (just to name a few).

This for me is problematic, women should not feel that losing weight is the equation to looking or feeling beautiful, confident or happy. Woman should be encouraged to feel this way about themselves regardless of the way they look. The size of ones body, and how much space it takes up on earth, should not determine anyones self worth or happiness. If this is the case then Special K may as well create a campaign asking women how they will feel when they are taller, shorter, have a smaller nose, or bigger breasts.

Instead Kellogs should stress the physical positives that come with weight loss, like health and well-being. But oddly enough these words were missed in their commercials.

At least it looks like one person visiting their website got it right…

Too bad Special K didn’t.



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