The 60 Day Potato Diet- Great Way To Lose Weight or Incredible Marketing Ploy?


| rbasso@queenscourier.com |


Photo by Orestes Gonzalez

Richard Mazda hopes to raise enough money on an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to keep the doors of the Secret Theatre in Long Island City open.

I’m a big advocate of thinking outside the box.  One of my mantra is to differentiate your brand in the marketplace or die.  A bit harsh, I know, but it gets my point across.  You have to find a way to distinguish your brand from your competitors or face being forever lumped in with the competition by your prospects.    I’ve done my best in the past to come up with unique, slightly irreverent ways to brand one of my companies from my competitors; from offering  one-point-of-contact customer service to cheeky postcard campaigns (one of which was so popular Newsday re-ran it in their newspaper) I have worked to make Advantage Payroll recognizable.

For these reasons, when I read about marketing scheme by the head of the Washington State Potato Commission last year, I couldn’t help but admire the unique, attention-grabbing marketing ploy. Chris Voigt’s 60 day potato diet challenge was definitely clever since it’s his job to advocate that potatoes are a “nutritious, cost-effective vegetable that should be part of a well-balanced diet.”  To push this message, Voigt ate nothing but potatoes between Oct. 1 and Dec. 1. He had them for breakfast, lunch and dinner — about 20 potatoes per day cooked in a multitude of ways.   While some may call him crazy, I respect his efforts to draw attention to federal proposals to bar or limit potatoes in some programs by using his diet to argue that potatoes are high in nutrients.  It certainly caught my attention.

The end result; Voigt actually lost 21 pounds and dropped his cholesterol level by 67 points to a healthier level, while gaining national attention for his cause, an appearance on the TODAY show and numerous write ups in newspapers and online communities across the country.

While I don’t advocate eating just potatoes for a month, I do suggest that you should not be afraid to be different or to try something new with your marketing.  If your brand does not stand out, your competitors will.