Wearables Track Growth, Brand Targets Self-Improvement 'Obsessives'

Image above: Rock climber Alex Honnold


Whoop, the wearable that brands itself as a “fitness and health coach,” has just launched a global ad campaign created by Mekanism.

In an initial :30 spot, with others to come, “The Best Obsess” about Whoop -- as the health/fitness/apparel company has enlisted for its cause such accomplished “performers” as rock climber Alex Honnold, Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps and Liverpool soccer star Virgil Van Dijk.

Yet, according to John Sullivan, Whoop’s senior vice president of marketing, “’The Best Obsess’ recognizes that some of the top performers in the world don’t view themselves as talented  -- rather, obsessed and deeply committed to self-improvement.”



“I think I probably obsessed on the small details more than I could have ever imagined, and those are the small things that ended up helping out the most," Phelps said in a press release.

“By tracking data through Whoop,” Sullivan tells Marketing Daily, “and adhering to recommendations across sleep, strain, recovery, and stress, members of all stripes can achieve any goal, passion, or pursuit.”

“Members” means that Whoop is sold on a subscription basis; the wearable itself is thrown in for free with memberships of $239 a year or $399 for two years. There’s also a free one-month trial that includes a pre-owned device.

Whoop has been available in earlier versions since 2014, and Sullivan says that while it was “initially created for elite athletes…the aperture of what human performance looks like has opened significantly.”

Whoop, he continues, is now  “also intended for those who are ambitious and goal-oriented; people who prioritize fitness as one of the inputs into their health, longevity and high performance. Whoop members tend to hold a high bar and view any investment in their health as one that’s worthwhile.”

Or in other words, people who are…well…obsessed.

“Obsession, when thoughtfully harnessed, leads to change,” Sullivan says.

The new campaign, in addition to the :30 spots, will include 15-second cuts on paid media platforms and organic social media.

The total media plan, developed in-house, includes Hulu and Amazon Prime, YouTube, Meta and TikTok. In European markets, Eurosport is being used, plus in the U.K. and Ireland, Sky and Virgin Media’s Adsmart platforms.

Whoop dropped its first TV campaign, titled “Know Yourself,” towards the end of 2020, when, Sullivan notes that due to the pandemic, “maintaining well-being was vital.” That campaign, created by Droga5, “was focused on driving its audiences’ focus inward,” he says, “as the wearable tracks physiological data better than other wearables on the market.” 

Whoop is part of a $90.73 billion global business in wearable sports devices, according to Data Bridge Marketing Research, which says the category will grow 13.5% annually, to $249.88 billion in 2030.

The researcher pointed to a 2022 Whoop partnership with Penn State’s athletic department as a key recent development in the industry.

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