Ouch! Crunch Uses Pain To Remind People How Good It Feels To Work Out

Getting bitten by a snake or jamming your head in a revolving door are ways to feel bad. And Crunch’s new campaign uses them as a springboard into things that feel good – like a peppy workout at your local Crunch gym.

Called “Feel Good, Not Bad,” the new ads use humor to paint Crunch as an escape from a world full of unkind moments.

Chad Waetzig, Crunch’s chief marketing officer, says the idea for the approach comes from the general sense of malaise floating over consumers right now. “There's this general feeling of a lot of bad in the world" -- like economic worries, war, and the looming contentious elections, he tells Marketing Daily.

“At the same time, our research finds that 95% of consumers believe exercise is good for mental health. So what better way to combat all the negative things in the world than through exercise?”



And rather than mention the grim news actually eating away at people, the spot highlights absurdly bad things, like a burrito that explodes down your shirt.

Crunch hopes that feel-good energy will motivate customers to stick with their fitness goals, with three out of five people saying they struggle to stay committed.

The campaign, from agency Familiar Creatures, includes TV, merchandise, out-of-home, radio and social media, as well as placement in the company's 450 gyms.

The ads are kicking off at the gym company’s busiest time and follow a year of solid growth. While Waetzig won’t disclose the privately held company’s revenues, he says they are up 26% year over year, powered by a 20% increase in gym launches, membership gains, and increases in personal training. Last year’s ad campaign significantly boosted both unaided and prompted awareness, he says.

This year’s effort plays into the concept of fun, which continues to be a major point of differentiation for Crunch. “We are all about making serious fitness fun, and it’s been part of our DNA for almost 35 years.”

Hybrid office habits also work in the brand’s favor, Waetzig says. “In many areas, we offer multiclub access so that you can choose a club near your office on some days and near your home on others.”

Crunch's digital product, an app with 550 workouts, also makes it easier for members to stay in shape, no matter their work schedule.

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