GNC Adds ‘Pretty Pills” to Attract Females

pastel pills, source: Flickr
Source: Flickr

Upfront confession: I come from a family of health nuts, way before it was cool, and my mother is a walking naturopathic encyclopedia of herbal, supplement and homeopathic remedies; five of us hold licenses as massage therapists, and we have a rather expansive exposure to the newest, latest and most interesting and/or repulsive developments in alternative health.

GNC, to the committed “crunchy granola type” as my friends have called me, is like Forever 21 to someone who regularly shops Saks. In yesterday’s New York Times ad column, titled “A Brand Favored by Muscle Men Wants to Appeal to More Women,” I commend GNC for recognizing it was missing a rather substantive audience, instead appealing mostly to those guys at the gym that have all their body hair shaved off and whose massively developed lats and quads wear their clothes out in funny places.

But does the market research really show that women are more apt to take a pretty,  delicately flavored pill than a supplement that might do some demonstrative good? Admittedly, I am not their target audience, but as a card-carrying woman, I somewhat resent that my ad brethren think it has to be pink or marketed as anti-aging to get my attention. We are all responsible for our own health, and if pastel vitamins induce an otherwise less-than-healthy woman to commit to better nutrition, we can all live with that outcome.

So, pop a lavender supplement, have an Activia, and be glad the guys on Mad Ave have started paying attention to you.

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