Many things were factoring into the decrease in sales. These commercials aired on late night cable television as many people were “cutting the cord”. A series of lawsuits had limited what legal would approve in the messaging. Further the fallout from the Fen-Phen fad left many consumers wary of weight loss pills. An early concern Patrick had about the history of messaging around the product, essentially “lose weight, look great”, was that doubling down on it was probably not the path to turning sales around.
Following work on an early commercial with Rodney and Holly Robinson Peete, Rodney shared he had been using Lipozene since his wife endorsed the product to try to lose weight before a coming knee surgery. After years in the NFL, his pain and discomfort made the need for surgery pressing and Rodney needed help.
Having discussed it with Rodney, Patrick realized there were a great many people watching late night television who weren’t nearly as interested in looking “great” as other people might be. Yet there were probably many people unable to sleep due to pain or medical circumstance.
Turning Rodney’s life into a direct response commercial was surreal. For example, the doctor in this commercial is a real doctor, but not Rodney’s. Yet it was well worth as many in the audience who had followed Rodney Peete’s career also identified with needing joint surgery. This also lined up with older demographic which was one of the greatest hold-outs among cord-cutters. People moving from cable to streaming tended to be younger. People sticking cable tended to be more likely to be of an age where surgery was more relatable.