Orangetheory Fitness Debuts 'The Science Behind It'

With so many in-home and gym-based exercise brands making noise right now, you can't blame people for being confused about effectiveness. So Orangetheory Fitness wants to let consumers know just how powerful it is with a campaign themed "the science behind it." The goal is to educate consumers about what makes its tech-driven approach different from noisy competitors, ranging from CrossFit, SoulCycle and F45 to Peloton, Mirror and Tonal.

"Our focus is on what makes us unique in the category," says Kelly Lohr, chief marketing officer of the Boca Raton, Florida-based company. "I felt we could do a more intense job of explaining the science behind our workouts, helping viewers understand the basics."

Ads show both the class experience -- where small groups move between treadmills, rowing machines and weights -- and the coaching and proprietary technology that tracks heart rate and recovery time.



Technology is a crucial component. "We wanted to make sure that comes through visually, so the spots demonstrate how our workouts get people to spend just the right number of minutes in each intensity zone," Lohr tells Marketing Daily.

Ads are from Tombras, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, and were directed by Grammy winner Dave Meyers. The national campaign is running on linear and connected TV, online video, and other premium digital channels,

Orangetheory started in 2010, and by 2019, national ads had already helped franchisees open some 1,500 locations throughout the U.S. (It also operates in 24 countries.)

The company has already bounced back from COVID. Classes are full, and Lohr says sales and membership have mostly returned to pre-pandemic levels.

So while consumers don't need coaxing to return to group workouts, the pandemic forced a major shift in how people shop for their next sweat session, Lohr notes. Because people's fitness routines got so completely shaken,  it opened their minds to reconsidering the whole point of exercise, pushing them to redefine their goals. "People want results," she says. "That may mean weight loss. Other people want heart health, mood enhancement or [increased] energy levels."

Selling the brand's tech prowess is essential, especially since the appeal of connected fitness is behind the gains of companies like Peloton, Tonal and Lululemon's Mirror, to name a few.

"We had already been paving the way for connected tech," Lohr says. Orangetheory's hour-long classes move people through three components: treadmills, rowing machines and weights. "You're wearing a heart rate monitor, which gives you -- and the coach leading the class -- your personal intensity stats in real-time."

It's clear that home workouts just aren't for everybody, she notes: "People typically don't have the equipment. And they don't have the same motivation and encouragement from group workouts and expert coaches. There's just an energy that happens after a group workout that is hard to describe. Internally, we call it the orange effect."

While the brand has traditionally skewed more female than male -- at about a 70/30 ratio -- that's changing as more men sign up.

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