Activated You Teaches Us all about shady diet advertising and marketing techniques


When you’ve spent 5 minutes of social media, you’ve most likely seen the video advertisements for Activated You, a diet complement firm based and represented by actor Maggie Q.

Essentially the most prolific of those advertisements is the one above the place Maggie has her physique fats examined by her integrative physician, Frank Lipman. Lipman, who some think about to be the ‘father of integrative drugs,’ has infamously declared sugar and gluten to be the ‘satan.’

Lipman as soon as mentioned that he by no means desires to provide medical recommendation on TV and described TV medical doctors as ‘tacky.’ However right here we’re, with Dr. Lipman throughout our feeds, hawking Morning Advanced, hobnobbing with celebrities (together with Gwyneth, natch), and promoting his personal line of dietary supplements, cleanses, and detoxes on The Effectively, an organization of which he’s the medical director.

This publish isn’t about Activated You merchandise per se. Whether or not the merchandise ‘work’ or not, isn’t actually a query right here – possibly they work for some issues, simply as each product or eating regimen or program works for somebody someplace.

This publish is about diet advertising and marketing and the way these merchandise are offered. Once I watched your entire 16 minute video Activated You advert, what got here to thoughts for me is that they have been utilizing basic advertising and marketing techniques which might be so generally used to promote diet services. 

VShred, Provitalize, and BeachBody are another firms that use the identical strategies.

I assessment VShred right here.

I assessment Provitalize right here.

I assessment Beachbody and Beachbody Tremendous Trainers right here.

It may be very straightforward to fall for a few of these techniques, however when what you’re on the lookout for, you possibly can spot them a mile away. When you nonetheless need to purchase no matter they’re promoting, that’s as much as you – however at the least you may make an informed choice about it.

I watched your entire 16 minute video, and it’s unbelievable (in a nasty manner) how Maggie goes step-by-step, constructing a basis earlier than getting in for the kill *ahem* the onerous promote.

The Hook:

A hook attracts you in. On this case, it’s Maggie Q receiving the information that she has ‘no physique fats.’

Her response is to giggle. 

Right here’s a tip: the suitable response to being informed that you haven’t any physique fats, is shock. It’s additionally unimaginable to be on the receiving finish of that information anyhow, because you’d die with a fats share that low.

Make no mistake, her laughing at this case is totally tousled and disordered as heck. Weight loss plan tradition has created the assumption that the much less physique fats we have now, the higher. Maggie is perpetuating that. 

Not okay.

The emotional story.

Maggie tells us that she was a ‘mess,’ with digestive points and different well being issues. We don’t know her well being historical past – possibly she was going via some points, possibly she wasn’t. 

She even discloses that she couldn’t poo for as much as 4 days. An actor opening up and speaking about their digestive issues, bloating, and constipation? Maggie Q is rather like us!

Autumn Calabrese from Beachbody does the very same factor to promote her Intestine Well being Protocol. 

I reviewed the Beachbody Intestine Well being Protocol right here.

However showing to put naked your soul is a tactic that we see on a regular basis in diet advertising and marketing. 

When folks really feel one thing, they purchase merchandise

When a vendor pretends to commiserate to be ‘identical to you,’ it makes folks really feel heard. This makes folks completely happy. Pleased folks purchase merchandise.

When a vendor seems to reveal delicate private data to us, it helps to realize our belief. We’re extra doubtless to purchase one thing from somebody we belief.  

The transformation.

The opposite half of the emotional story is the overcome adversity. All of us love a very good rags to riches story, and that’s what we get when Maggie tells us that she has solved her well being points and is doing so a lot better.

Now, she’s bestowing this unbelievable secret to us – as a result of Maggie cares about us!

Relating a narrative to persuade us of a product’s effectiveness is known as the publish hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy: ‘it labored for me, subsequently it would give you the results you want.’

The usage of this fallacy and the promise of a change isn’t something new. Plenty of eating regimen applications and MLM diet applications use that actual phrase – transformation – to once more play on our feelings and get us to think about what our lives would appear like with out our present issues – well being and others.

When folks can think about themselves in a brand new, higher life, they’re extra doubtless to purchase a product that they’re informed can take them there. 

Feeling as if they’re receiving some type of treasured reward via the vendor’s nice concern for everybody who’s going via what they did, helps make a sale. The vendor ingratiates themselves to the potential purchaser with ‘items’ and a secret ‘system,’ the customer feels fortunate and particular. Like they’re a part of a particular membership.

Sense of group and belonging. It strikes product.

KA-CHING!

Portraying the corporate as scientifically professional.

The video exhibits Maggie poring over what she says are ‘scientific research,’ and she or he tells us a number of instances that she did a number of analysis to develop Morning Full. Maggie’s now an actor AND a scientist!

activated you maggie q
activated you maggie q
Am I the one one who finds Maggie a bit aggravating?

This is identical as all the MLM firms that pepper their websites with inventory photographs of DNA and scientists in lab coats: it means nothing.

I’m positive some scientists have been concerned within the making of Morning Full (most likely meals scientists). However at the moment, there is no such thing as a analysis on Activated You’s merchandise.

Not solely that, however there is no such thing as a conclusive proof in people that the components in Morning Full are efficient for what Maggie claims.

And let’s get one factor very clear: Maggie and her ‘scientists’ haven’t stumbled upon some magical system that mainstream drugs has by some means missed. You aren’t shopping for into some secret earth-shattering new discovery. Each certainly one of these firms desires to make you are feeling that manner.

Essentially the most off-putting a part of that is the declare on the Activated You website that Maggie is aware of extra about well being than a number of dietitians (they usually spelled dietitian with a ‘c,’ that’s additionally off-putting). 

She doesn’t.

Worry mongering about ‘issues’ that most likely don’t exist.

As she tells us about her constipation (constipation is quite common, FYI, so it will appeal to the eye – and worry – of a number of viewers), Maggie warns us that ‘poor digestion’ could cause a complete host of points. Issues like physique aches, fatigue, hormonal imbalances (can she inform us which hormones develop into imbalanced by constipation?), boring pores and skin, untimely wrinkles, and breakouts.

That is all meant to scare you into shopping for what she’s promoting. She doesn’t even outline ‘poor digestion.’ Even so, how on this planet would intestine points trigger any of these issues? Let’s be sincere: there’s no proof that they do. 

Maggie tells us that Dr. Lipman could be very involved with our livers. That our livers are affected by all kinds of poisons from right this moment’s world and this can be a drawback. We’d like milk thistle and room temperature lemon water each morning!

Due to course we do. And guess what? I’ll wager the product she’s about to promote us incorporates milk thistle!

Spoiler: it does.

Promoting us on the advantages of consuming sure components.

Maggie loves gymnema sylvestri, and calls it a ‘sugar destroyer,’ which is ridiculous and unproven. However not simply any gymnema sylvestri, after all – as a result of a lot of it’s low-cost and diluted, as Maggie tells us. Isn’t it nice that her complement occurs to make use of high quality components? 

‘Sugar Destroyer.’ What does that even imply?

There are probiotics, prebiotics, adaptogens, and bitter melon, which Maggie tells us has been ‘celebrated for hundreds of years’ in different societies to assist with weight reduction.

Attention-grabbing, as a result of in 22 years as an RD, I’ve by no means heard of bitter melon inflicting weight reduction.

Yeah, there’s truly not.

Telling us concerning the precise product, and speaking it as much as look like one thing new and spectacular.

Something that new and spectacular will likely be all around the media, and controlled by the FDA. It is going to be first-line remedy utilized by professional healthcare professionals. 

Please spare me the conspiracy theories that Massive Pharma desires to maintain us sick – there’s far more cash and fame to find a miracle treatment.

However conspiracy theories are the undercurrent of such a advertising and marketing. Us vs them. 

They couldn’t discover what was unsuitable with me, however our product helped. 

They promote you drugs, our product is all-natural. 

They need to maintain you sick, we actually need to make you the healthiest you’ve ever been. 

They need to become profitable off of you….um…..wait.  

Making a bunch of claims concerning the product which might be imprecise or that don’t make sense.

Beware the laundry record of circumstances which might be ‘cured’ by a product. Be aware: nothing cures every little thing, and no complement or eating regimen cures incurable circumstances equivalent to PCOS, diabetes, and autoimmune illness, to call just a few. 

What’s one of the best eating regimen for PCOS? Learn my publish on it right here.

Obscure claims like, ‘provides you extra power!’ and ‘heals your intestine!’ can’t be objectively measured, and are simply prone to the placebo impact. 

The load-loss declare is often accompanied by a eating regimen program that’s offered with the product. 

I’m going to say it once more – no complement helps you shed pounds effortlessly. It simply doesn’t exist.

Some dietary supplements – Morning Full included – promote that they enhance mobile well being. The phrase ‘mobile’ is a imprecise time period that sounds scientific and critical, and is supposed to spice up credibility and persuade folks that the corporate’s merchandise are evidence-based. 

That’s unlucky, as a result of every little thing we do, and every little thing we eat, impacts us on a mobile degree. That’s the way in which our our bodies work.

When you eat a different, balanced eating regimen, get sufficient relaxation, and interact in common exercise, your cells will perform simply as nature supposed (except you’ve a persistent sickness, which isn’t what I’m speaking about right here).

A particular point out to the ‘boosts metabolism’ declare, which I believe is made about 99% of some of these dietary supplements. 

No complement boosts metabolism excessive sufficient or lengthy sufficient to lead to important weight reduction. Firms use phrases like ‘X ‘helps’ a wholesome metabolism or wholesome physique weight,’ however these imply completely nothing.

The phrase ‘assist’ is deliberately imprecise to make sure that potential prospects learn into it as ‘metabolism boosting,’ however the firm isn’t precisely saying that, in order that they received’t get sued by the FDA for making false claims.

When you see an organization or particular person making any claims of fats burning or metabolism boosting, immediately that they’re attempting to rip-off you. Interval. 

Transitioning into the high-pressured ‘purchase now!’ gross sales method.

Severely, is there a diet MLM, eating regimen, or complement firm that doesn’t use this tactic? It’s Advertising and marketing 101: give somebody the notion that they’ll lose out in the event that they don’t purchase instantly, they usually’re extra more likely to leap on the ‘deal.’

One other manner firms like these promote costly merchandise is say or suggest that an costly product is ‘value it’ as a result of it’s ‘in your well being!’

Maggie does an additional particular job of shaming potential prospects by telling them that the price of Morning Full suits into ‘each price range,’ although the fee is $79 a jar.

She then tells us that if we purchase now, it’s $49 a jar, and if we purchase a number of jars, it’s even cheaper.

In fact you might be!

Watching this, I used to be actually embarrassed for her.

The one factor Activated You is sweet for is educating us about diet advertising and marketing crimson flags. That’s it.

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