health and fitness

Les Mills Trades Rage Workouts For 'Choose Happy' -- With Chance To Move To New Zealand

Sick of the idea that real fitness can only be achieved running on broken glass, flailing heavy ropes and confronting tortured inner voices from childhood? So is Les Mills. So the New Zealand-based fitness brand has hired everybody’s favorite angry athlete: Brett Goldstein, aka Roy F*&ing Kent from “Ted Lasso.”

Goldstein suffers through the grittiest, angriest routine before bursting into the shire-worthy sunshine of New Zealand, where he joins a perfectly lovely group of weight-lifters.

Themed “Choose Happy,” the campaign aims to make workouts fun and less intimidating. And well aware that New Zealand has a reputation as one of the happiest places to live, the effort includes a contest searching for two future Happiness Ambassadors. The prize? They get to move to New Zealand.



Les Mills, which markets its fitness classes to gyms worldwide and sells digital versions directly to consumers, says the campaign is aimed straight at Gen Z.

Its research says 64% of the non-exercising component of this young demographic find gyms intimidating. (Rival Planet Fitness even uses 'Gymtimidation’ as one of its marketing catchphrases.)

Les Mills also learned that of the 36% of Gen Z who work out, 81% participate in group workouts.

Research also finds younger people prefer upbeat workouts, with 68% looking for gyms “with good energy.” And 46% say fitness ads that dwell on the grind of the gym are a turnoff.

The company has tapped Goldstein as the first Les Mills Happiness Ambassador, hoping his snarling face might help it sell the physiological, mental and social benefits – including joy – that come along with the company’s science-backed workouts.

Les Mills shot the two-minute ad, created by nice&frank, on location in New Zealand. Directed by Andreas Nilsson, the spot highlights Goldstein breaking out of his sadness workout. It also features Acushla-Tara Kupe, a Mori actor, in her commercial debut.

To win a shot at becoming the next Happiness Ambassador, applicants must submit an essay explaining why they should be chosen. Les Mills plans to announce the two winners next month.

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