Future, A Fitness App, Launches 'Here We Go' Ads


Future wants to convince the world that unlimited personal training is the secret to attainable fitness. And while the connected health and fitness business is a cage match these days (just ask Peloton, Noom, Tonal or Mirror), Future thinks its offer – melding high-quality personal training with ultra-personalized workouts – is just what a gym-weary world needs. Amy Kepler, vice president of marketing, explains.

D2C Insider: Tell us why Future needed the new "Here we go" marketing approach now.

Amy Kepler: I joined the company about five months ago, and the challenge is to acquire a new cohort of members. How do we find people who are going to thrive? The kind who commit and stay for the long haul?

D2C Insider: Who is the target?

Kepler: People in a higher income bracket. Future is $200 a month. That's a total steal compared to in-person personal training, which is usually about $1,200 a month if you average 10 to 15 sessions. But even still, $200 is high. And so we knew we wanted to reach people who value support and convenience. These are people with a growth mindset. They're busy and value having someone in their corner to manage fitness for them. Women are also important. They have similar levels of interest but start personal training at much lower rates than men. There's an intimidation factor in a lot of traditional personal training messaging.

D2C Insider: How did you land on this specific strategy?

Kepler: Our brand ethos is about the partnership between members and their coaches. But a lot of fitness messaging is that you have to go on this journey alone, that there's this hard slog ahead of you, and you need willpower. We don't believe that. Being consistent in fitness is not a personal motivation problem. It's a product problem. And we've cracked it. Our app has real-life human coaches, and nothing delivers accountability like another human. Grizzly, our agency, brought that to life. The coaches that appear in the spot are all our real coaches, and those are their real voices.

D2C Insider: Where are ads running?

Kepler: Digital channels, so on Meta, YouTube, and connected TV. It's also infused in our social as well as website and email.

D2C Insider: How do you differentiate yourself from other connected fitness brands? Peloton has had tremendous initial success with its app but is now showing some churn.

Kepler: We are in growth mode. And the main difference is that we're not connected to any hardware. No two members will ever have the same workout experience. We match you with the right coach, and you get a bespoke training plan.

D2C Insider: How close is the coach/member relationship?

Kepler: Some members train twice a week, some seven days a week. We have people training for triathlons, people who want to get hip mobility, and people who are in their seventies and just want to climb stairs confidently. Coaches check in on you daily. On average, our members exchange four, five or six text messages with their coach every day.

D2C Insider: Noom, which focuses on weight loss, has struggled with a similar model, laying off many coaches. That level of personal attention was unsustainable. How is Future's business model different?

Kepler: I can't share the number of employees, but we are the largest provider of personal training as a service in the U.S. And while our coaches provide a one-on-one connection, it's all super-charged with AI. That doesn't replace the accountability you get with another human. However, the coaches can use backend tooling to develop the workouts. They're accessing thousands of inputs of coaching sessions.

D2C Insider: Future’s backers include actor Kate Hudson, who owns a stake in Fabletics, and NBA great Kevin Durant. What's that like?

Kepler: It speaks to the appeal of this platform. When you talk to our founders, they looked at the world's most successful athletes, celebrities, executives – all people who use coaches. The core premise was how do we take that nugget of truth that you need a coach to be consistent and successful and make fitness coaching more accessible for many more people?

D2C Insider: Fitness is fickle. CrossFit is in, then it's out, and so are HIIT routines, Pilates, and boot camps.

Kepler: Absolutely. That desire for variety is a consumer truth. What makes coaching stick is that it works with all those modalities. We have members whose coaches say, “OK, today you're going to do a 60-minute Peloton ride, tomorrow, I have a strength training workout for you to do at the gym. The next day, I've planned an outdoor hike." All of that is tracked and monitored through our app. It works beautifully with people's need for something new.

D2C Insider: You just mentioned Peloton and gym workouts. Do most members have access to other workouts?

Kepler: Yes. Many of our members use multiple things. About half of our workouts are completed in a gym. Many of them do studio classes and have different kinds of equipment. Future members use their equipment twice as much as nonmembers and go to the gym more.

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