Food-related advertising that does and doesn’t work | WW, OzHarvest

The worst rebrand I’ve ever seen happened years ago, in 2018, but I only saw it last year, and this post sat in my drafts for 6 months. Let’s talk about what happened when Weight Watchers decided they needed to make themselves cool again!

Why the Weight Watchers rebrand just doesn’t work

Weight Watchers reckons their new brand, WW, stands for ‘Wellness that Works’.

Umm, sure.

The new Weight Watchers packaging for one of their frozen meals, a mushroom & pumpkin risotto, features a big "WW"
The new Weight Watchers packaging for one of their frozen meals, a mushroom & pumpkin risotto, features a big “WW”.

Nobody is fooled — their product is still diet food.

And while the packaging looks fine, the concept is flawed.

Say it out loud with me.


“Double you, double you.”


I laughed sooo hard looking at their new packaging, and realising what they’d done.

A diet food company that’s brand literally says it will double you?

What genius thought that was a good idea?

As if we didn’t have enough reasons to hate diet culture already…

The latest round of OzHarvest ads I saw in the Brisbane CBD in 2021 were amazing. They were eye-catching and thought-provoking.

2021 ad for OzHarvest shows a cauliflower and cloud of greenhouse gases, along with the slogan "wasting food is worse than flying".
The 2021 ads for OzHarvest featured the slogan “wasting food is worse than flying”.

The ad I’ve highlighted here is OzHarvest’s 2021 ad, which I used to walk past every day on my way home from work (when we were — oh so briefly — allowed back into the office). It shows a cauliflower and cloud of greenhouse gases, along with the slogan “wasting food is worse than flying”.

The eye-catching bright yellow colour, combined with the thought-provoking message, really caught my attention, and I saw other passers-by staring at the sign for a long time, as well.

It works for multiple reasons.

It’s the cognitive dissonance of thinking, “Me throwing out that rotten zucchini that I forgot was in the vegetable drawer of my fridge … that was worse than flying overseas? Really? But I pride myself on my eco-conscious behaviours!”

It’s memorable, mainly because it’s so hard to believe. I will never forget this ad that said wasting food causes more greenhouse gases than an airplane flight.

And although I didn’t immediately remember which brand had posted the ad (the #1 test for any advertising in my opinion – brand recall), I was able to look it up so easily on Google using the slogan, which was unforgettable.

Any more thoughts about why this advertising works? Let me know in the comments!

(C) TJ Withers-Ryan 2022. Credit me when sharing.

Publishing My First Book

I’m so happy to be able to finally type those words. 😊🤩😎😭🥰❤

Go here to be one of the first to buy my book!

It’s available on any of the major booksellers, like Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo…

And here’s 5 reasons why you’re going to love it!

book cover for Fire Dancers in the Sand by TJ Withers-Ryan
Book 1 in the Fire Dancers series by TJ Withers-Ryan
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Weird and Wonderful Advertising: Closed for Maintenance

Here’s a beauuuuutiful example of a brand doing “closed for maintenance” right, by defusing any anger people might be feeling about it: Urban Utilities water mains upgrades in the Brisbane CBD this week.

Urban Utilities ad in Brisbane CBD November 2020: These water pipes have been in business for almost 100 years. Please excuse us while we replace them.
Photo credit: TJ Withers-Ryan. Advertising: Urban Utilities, November 2020, Brisbane CBD.

That’s a great way to say, yes sorry we’re doing maintenance, but you can’t be too mad – these poor pipes have been serving you well for years and they deserve a break!

This is especially important because water mains outages are very inconvenient and a lot of people would be mad about it.

Urban Utilities logo on advertising seen in Brisbane CBD in November 2020.
Photo credit: TJ Withers-Ryan. Advertising: Urban Utilities, November 2020, Brisbane CBD.

I love this advertising. Makes me feel good about maintenance works for the first time in my life, so well done, Urban Utilities.

Well done.

(C) TJ Withers-Ryan 2020.

Christian Yoga for the Family

My coparent is sick today (or thinks he is, which is essentially the same thing) so here’s how Zoe and I are occupying ourselves…

Yoga with Mummy and Zoe

First we do downward facing dog:

Then we do our warrior poses for courage, so we can be brave, strong women!

Who knows what we’ll do next!

Follow me on YouTube or Instagram (tjwithersryan) for more fun like this!

Can Christian families do yoga?

Yes, and you’ll especially benefit from it if you’re using it as an opportunity to meditate or pray while stretching!

I know some people use yoga to worship other gods, but in my family, we don’t use it that way.

(C) TJ Withers-Ryan, 2020.

Weird and Wonderful Advertising: Church Edition

This morning, I spotted not one but TWO churches who had the same indecipherable Bible verse on their billboard.

In a second, I’ll tell you what verse they chose and why it just. Doesn’t. Work.

But first, let’s look at why some churches have billboards outside their worship centre (why advertise), and what they’re hoping to achieve (the advertising goal).

Let me say at the outset – I’ve been to a lot of churches, and they’re not all great expressions of God’s love – but some are! I have attended a few great churches.

Churches where the people show God’s love in practical ways to the world and to each other during the week.

Where the people show genuine affection for each other when they hang out.

Where the people show love for God in how they worship on a Sunday.

And I love God. 100%. I wish more people knew how awesome his love is.

Why churches advertise

Churches typically have three interrelated goals when advertising:

  1. Invite the reader to seek God. This is the core aim of reaching out to the world (in church speak, evangelism).
  2. Invite the reader to join their community of faith (fellowship).
  3. Invite the reader to learn more about their set of beliefs (doctrine).

And these are the goals that all outward-facing, publicly-visible materials should be judged against, if that church is indeed trying to reach out to the communities around it.

That’s why things like your church’s website, Facebook page, Google maps entry, billboard, and social events calendars, are all vitally important, and must be working towards those three “advertising” goals.

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Weird and Wonderful Advertising: Humour Done Right

Last time, I showed you how advertising that uses ill-advised humour destroys the trust of your customer.

So I promised that this time I’d show you how you can use humour for good effect, to make you memorable, while still keeping the trust your customer places in your brand or your industry.

Oscar Wylee advertising

Today’s case study is the optometrist Oscar Wylee, whose advertising I walked past in the Myer Centre (Brisbane) in July 2020.

“Get tested: book a bulk billed eye exam today.” Oscar Wylee in person advertisement
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Best YA Books About the End of the World | TJ Withers-Ryan

I have always found books helpful in a crisis.

I’m not saying I’d sit down in a burning house and open my ebook reader…

But in that burning house, it’s because of the books I’ve read that I’d know to recognise whether the fire is getting out of control based on the colour and movement of the smoke.

It’s because of books that I’d know to check if a handle is hot before opening the door to another room.

It’s because of books that I’ve already spent time tonight about what I’d grab if I had to run out the door – my baby, my phone, and a blanket or jumper to keep the two of us warm.

So when the Australian government announced pandemic status for coronavirus yesterday, I had already been thinking in “prepper” mode for weeks, preparing for the end of the world, buying canned food, NOT toilet paper. 🙄

And the reason I have prepped, not panicked, is all because of a few AWESOME series of YA books that got me thinking about what different survival scenarios might require of me.

How I might be challenged.

How I could rise to the occasion.

I also found myself less scared after reading books, fiction, about things that could potentially happen for real in my lifetime – things like famine, climate destruction, and war.

Clarification: I’m not saying the world is ending. But a lot of scary things are happening. My country, Australia, has had more bushfires in the past months than it’s had per year at any point in history. Coronavirus is rapidly spreading across the globe and although it’s usually not deadly, it’s (so far) also looking not very stoppable. Climate change is flooding entire states and wiping cities off the map, while other states are crying out in the worst droughts of more than a decade. My only point is that it’s worth being prepared for all the big things that are happening, and more big things that might be in our future.

So here are my favourite reads for young people at the end of the world, in no particular order. I’ve tagged them with movie style ratings (PG, M, etc.) so you can make your own decisions about whether or not you’re mature enough to read each book.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are feeling anxious or depressed about the world events happening around you, please talk to an adult you trust. This might be your parents, a trusted teacher or your school chaplain, or even a professional counsellor. They can help you talk about these big events that cause big emotions, and help you find ways to stay upbeat and cope practically and emotionally with whatever life throws your way. If you’re feeling like all hope is lost, I’d encourage you to try the Beyond Blue online chat or their phone helpline.

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Treasure | Youth Group Devotions by TJ Talk

A youth group or kids club devotion for ages 5 to 15 on treasure

So tonight was all about pirates and what’s one thing pirates love more than anything else? What do you think?


Those are all great answers, and the one I want to talk about tonight is treasure – pirates love treasure!

Do you have anything in life that you would call your “treasure”? Your most precious things?


God actually talks about treasure in the Bible in a bunch of different places, and the first one I’m going to talk about tonight is Matthew 13, where Jesus says that God’s world, the kingdom of heaven, is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man finds that treasure, he sells everything he owns so that he has enough money to buy the field that contains the treasure – because he knows that treasure is so precious, it’s worth more than everything he owns.

If we think about this story for a second, Jesus is saying that God’s world – a world where people worship God, where people live sustainably and they live in harmony with nature, a world where people actually love each other and don’t hurt each other, a world where everyone has enough to eat – that world is so precious that it’s worth more than everything you own.

God’s world – a world where people worship God, where people live sustainably and they live in harmony with nature, a world where people actually love each other and don’t hurt each other, a world where everyone has enough to eat – that world is worth more than anything you could own

Then in Luke 12, Jesus literally tells his disciples, sell the things you own and give money to the poor. That way, you will earn a treasure in heaven that doesn’t disappear or break, and one that no thief could steal, and no bugs could eat it up. Basically it’s a reminder of what we were talking about a few weeks ago – that everything in life is temporary except for God. So if you make God your treasure, if you love God more than you love new clothes or music or money, and you use the things you have to help other people, not just yourself, then you won’t be disappointed when your “things” don’t last – because God does last.

God will always love you, no matter what else is happening in your life.

Let’s pray. God, please help us to love you more than we love anything else. Help us to have a great week and to help other people to have a great week, too. Amen.