Fattest to Fittest

Oklahoma City transformed from one of the country’s most obese cities to one of the fittest through a citywide diet that garnered national news coverage.

When a Men’s Fitness article ranked Oklahoma City as one of “America’s Fattest Cities,” confirming a longstanding reputation, Mayor Mick Cornett partnered with CVIC to confront the issue by drawing attention to it. Calling a press conference to put the entire city “on a diet,” Mayor Cornett challenged the citizens to reach a collective goal of losing one million pounds. Dubbed the OKC Million, CVIC launched an all-encompassing media campaign promoting the community-wide diet. As Oklahoma City was already gathering serious momentum as a “big-league city” — including quality jobs, low cost-of-living, new industries, and a revitalized cultural and entertainment infrastructure — CVIC focused messaging on the city’s proactive fitness plan rather than its obesity ranking.

CVIC:

  • Initiated This City is Going on a Diet website to log the citizens who joined and the pounds they lost, tracking the overall progress of the campaign
  • Sent key reporters a package containing the launch press release, adorned with a photo of a half-eaten donut and a body mass index (BMI) calculator to announce and promote the OKC Million
  • Coordinated on-air interviews for Mayor Cornett with national TV networks including MSNBC and CNN, as well as Ellen and NBC’s The Biggest Loser, and virtually every national radio network including NPR
  • Launched the challenge on the Rachel Ray show, and secured print and online placements with national magazines including The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times and USA Today, as well as countless major dailies and trade publications
  • Attracted 47,000 Oklahoma City residents who pledged to lose weight, reaching the one-million-pound goal in January 2012, only four years after the challenge began
  • Garnered a second mention for Oklahoma City in Men’s Fitness, this time securing a place on the magazine’s list of “America’s Fittest Cities”

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