Wrigley exercises Extra tie-in to promote fitness

CHICAGO: Wrigley has launched a campaign challenging Americans to walk more and cut calories by chewing Extra sugar-free gum - and to do it along with the contestants on NBC's The Biggest Loser.

CHICAGO: Wrigley has launched a campaign challenging Americans to walk more and cut calories by chewing Extra sugar-free gum - and to do it along with the contestants on NBC's The Biggest Loser.

"Wrigley's Walk and Chew Gum Challenge is a program to encourage Americans to make small, but long-lasting changes to their daily routine," said Kelly McGrail, senior director of corporate relations at Chicago-based Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. Two ways to do that, she explained, are by taking more steps and by chewing gum instead of munching on high-calorie snacks.

To provide an additional get-fit incentive for participants, Wrigley's worked with Matter - the entertainment arm of its AOR, Edelman - to integrate Extra gum throughout season four of The Biggest Loser. The season premiered last Wednesday.

Through the reality show's dieticians, trainers, and nutritionists, "Wrigley is showing viewers the benefits of chewing gum as a tool to reach their weight-management and healthy-lifestyle goals," said Jennifer Petterson, Edelman EVP and director of US consumer health, via e-mail.

The agency has tapped a third-party expert to support its campaign communications. Molly Gee, a registered dietitian at Houston's Baylor College of Medicine, is one of the challenge's two media spokespeople.

Edelman also forged a partnership with The Biggest Loser season-three contestant - and Extra advocate - Marty Wolff to serve as another motivating voice and media spokesperson.

Along with exposure to the Extra message on the show itself, potential participants are directed to an interactive Web site, www.gumisgood.com/walkandchewgum, "through a variety of mediums" and PR efforts, noted McGrail. Those include traditional media relations and advertising, plus outreach via digital and social networking, she said.

On the site, challenge participants can track their own bulge-burning progress over a 100-day period and can access information to help them achieve their personal weight-loss goals.

By the campaign's conclusion, Wrigley hopes to have helped Americans "collectively cut 10 million calories and walk 100,000 miles," McGrail said.

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