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After Anna Nicole, a new ad strategy for TrimSpa

Sat., May 5, 2007

NEWARK, N.J. — TrimSpa, the weight loss supplement company whose sales surged when Anna Nicole Smith became its public face, will now focus on “everyday customers” instead of celebrities.

Smith, who died on Feb. 8 in a Florida hotel, became a TrimSpa customer in early 2003, and by December had signed a contract to promote the product, said Alex Goen, chief executive officer of Goen Technologies Corp., TrimSpa’s parent company.

He said she was paid about $500,000 annually to promote the product, which she did for more than three years.

But the company’s new ad campaign, to feature success stories of 200 regular customers, will be as important as her endorsement, he said.

“One thing with Anna Nicole, she was a celebrity and everyone knew her,” said Goen, who attended her funeral in the Bahamas. “But from the very beginning, people thought she probably had a special dietitian, a special trainer. There was built-in skepticism. “

The company’s 30-second television commercials that begin airing next week will also allow viewers with digital video recording devices to download a longer spot, similar to an infomercial.

Viewers with DVRs can see 200 “before and after” images of everyday customers, set to “Can You Feel It,” a song by Voodoo Babies used in the original Smith spot.

“We think that this is equally as impressive as Anna Nicole’s weight loss results,” Goen said.

The former Playboy centerfold, who lost a significant amount of weight in recent years, made several commercials and appeared on television promoting TrimSpa’s weight-loss products. She also had a reality show on the E! entertainment cable TV network.

“Clearly TrimSpa became very well recognized because the best ‘before’ picture ever in the world was Anna Nicole,” Goen said. “Everyone saw her on the E! show suffer terribly because of her weight challenges. That transformation was quite extraordinary.”

Goen said her death did have an immediate impact on the company, based in Whippany, N.J. Sales figures dropped after Smith died, “but they came back to the previous level within a couple days after the toxicology report came out.”


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