Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Kodak


Brand Winner…

And Loser…


Marketing Doctor John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week

Winner:  Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta


Loser:  Kodak



Recently Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in Georgia has been getting alot of criticism for an ad campaign intended to fight childhood obesity.

The campaign is called Strong4Life and features black-and-white photos of fat children with provocative taglines like: “It’s hard to be a little girl if you’re not” and “Why am I fat?”

Predictably, the self-esteem brigade and childhood psychology experts have come out and said that this kind of approach will only make things worse, but Children’s Healthcare has fought back and refused to pull the ads. 

The organization’s hope is to shock people into recognizing that we have a real epidemic on our hands and the sad fact that fat kids turn into fat adults and fat adults stay fat.  The more we know about the physiology of weight loss, the more we know that the overweight really have the decks stacked against them when it comes to losing that weight. 

Basically, obese people are set up by their bodies to fail (for a really sobering take, read Tara Parker Pope’s article in The New York Times.  It’s called “The Fat Trap”).

Against this backdrop of reality and the fact that close to 1 million children are obese in Georgia, Strong4Life makes alot of sense.

many others think so too: the ads have received an 85% positive
reaction –my guess, the target market knows better than the so-called
experts that something really needs to be done for our kids and it needs
to be done now. 

By the way, children aren’t the target market here.  The target market is the parents and it will be the parents who will be shaping their children’s health and future.

Bottom line, this is branding at its best: memorable, not afraid of ruffling some feathers and ultimately aiming to drive real action.  My Fat Santa argument made me realize how hard it is to have people change habits and perceptions when it comes to food –it also made me realize how important it is to try.

Well done Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta!


Folks, what in the world has happened to Kodak?  How can we possibly be witnessing bankruptcy for this venerable brand, this one-time photographic pioneer and powerhouse?

What can I say: it’s complacency.

No brand, no matter how venerable or how big is too big or too venerable to fail.  The decline of Kodak has not been overnight –no great brand fails instantly– but it came down to whether the company was meeting needs with its products in the face of the tidal shift to digital photography.  Sadly, the answer looks like it was no.

End of story.

And remember, it’s always easier when you keep marketing and branding in mind.


TODAY’S TANTILLO TAKEAWAY –  Brands cannot stand still.  They must be adaptable.








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