Planet Fitness spends heavily to recruit members to its "judgement-free zones." Franchisees generally spend 5 to 7% of their monthly membership dues on local advertising, enabling the chain to spend over $150 million since 2011 on marketing to drive consumer brand awareness.
Now, Planet Fitness is tapping into pop culture to increase its membership during the holiday season. Developed by Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners, the advertising and social media campaign features a 90-second ad in-theater spot titled Battle Gym that mimics the Hunger Games franchise.
The humorous spot builds on its ongoing "Gymtimidation" series by pitting one regular woman gym-goer with a massive "Lunk" body-builder in a Hunger Games-like setting. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of Planet Fitness’ ethos which is a haven from “Gymtimidating” behavior often found in other gyms, say agency executives.
The spot can be viewed here.
The campaign will run in National CineMedia and Screenvision movie theaters for two weeks ending Dec. 4. A 30-second cutdown will run on broadcast and cable after that.
In addition to the 90-second spot, RTO+P created a 10-second teaser, in-lobby digital screens and a Shazam integration that will allow viewers to access additional footage and information via mobile.
“Given the cinema setting for this piece we grabbed the chance to take the drama up several notches for this chapter of Planet Fitness’s never-ending battle against Gymtimidation," says Steve Red, president & chief creative officer at RTO+P.
In-theater advertising represents a new channel for the fitness chain which started trading publicly on the New York Stock Exchange this summer. Though the company continues to focus on TV advertising, this in-theater outreach will help it reach younger potential members, specifically teens and Millennials, for whom the gym's $10 a month membership is likely to be especially attractive.
RTO+P won the Planet Fitness business in 2012. The fitness chain has more than 1,040 locations with more than 7.1 million members.