A Rockville Centre resident recently joined the cast of the Web series “Fit or Flop,” as a judge.
Allison Ceraso, the executive creative director at the advertising agency Havas Life, joined the health- and wellness-based series for its second season, which began airing this month. Viewers vote on contestants’ workout routines, deciding which of them deserves $150,000 worth of video and promotional services from the program’s producer, Apogee Media.
Ceraso, 36, said that her role, along with two other judges, was to evaluate the candidates so that the best routines and “brands” would be presented to the audience. The other two judges were Jenna Autuori-Dedi, an editor at Fitness magazine, and Brett Hoebel, the founder of Hoebel Fitness and a trainer on the TV series “The Biggest Loser.”
“They demo-ed their program, talked about themselves and then from there we passed on them or moved them on,” Ceraso said of the contestants. “We wanted to make sure they had … marketability. Those were some of the criteria we were looking for.”
All of the contestants appear in the first four of six total episodes — the first two of which aired on YouTube on Jan. 23 and Jan. 30 — and then the audience will decide the winner. Each contestant has a full profile online at www.fitorflop.com, where the audience can watch the contestants’ interactions with the judges.
Each episode runs between 15 and 20 minutes.
Ceraso said she was chosen as a judge because Havas is a well-known agency, and the show received a lot of feedback from the first season about increasing the focus on the contestants’ brands.
“The feedback from the first season was that they wanted someone with a branding background, for more diversity in the judges’ feedback,” Ceraso explained. “It was a happy twist of fate that connected us. I do some judging for advertising award shows, and it seemed so interesting to me the medium in which the show is deployed.”
As important as the advertising and branding side of the show, Ceraso said, is the increasing popularity of living healthier and working out. “Everyone is seeking this be-better, live-better thing,” she said. “There’s a huge phenomenon going on right now to get people to move around and be healthier. People will look at this as another vehicle to promote that story.”
Ceraso has kept a Tumblr blog detailing the behind-the-scenes activities of the show, called “HealthistheNewBrand,” which she plans to continue after the show to focus on wellness and health.