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New year, new you? A look at trends in fitness advertising

7th January 2019
Adstream - New year, new you? A look at trends in fitness advertising

With the New Year comes resolutions, closely followed by fitness advertisements. Whether you’re in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, in summer or winter, when the clock strikes midnight and the new year commences, you can guarantee you’ll begin to see an influx of health and wellbeing campaigns flung your way.

January is prime time to broadcast messages of “New Year, New You”, given there is a significant drive for wellness immediately following the gluttony that can occur at Christmas. Recent research undertaken suggests that 25% of people buy into big seasonal resolutions, however the vast majority of people are said to resolve to improve their health over 12 times a year (The Drum). Enter the rise of the marketing micro-resolution. This is a rising fitness marketing trend whereby brands establish a strong moment in the health calendar during January, but continue to relay the message at key moments throughout the year – alluding to a more holistic approach to health and wellness.

One marketing tactic that rings true the (fitness) world over, is to advertise a discounted pricing strategy come January. Many gym memberships and health subscription services offer discounted rates, or vow to waive sign-up fees at this time of year. Every year, Google searches for gyms spike, and membership purchases increase around the new year. According to Gold’s Gym in North America, their website traffic jumps by 40% on average, between December and January alone. This is only one gym in an industry of 200,000 clubs globally, serving 162 million members – not including boutique studios, community recreation facilities, or speciality gyms in venues such as hotels.

In keeping with the trend of the micro-resolution, brands also communicate these offers at seasonal trigger points throughout the year. Globally, over-indulgence at other times such as Easter are the perfect point in which to ensure members who have fallen off the New Year’s resolution bandwagon promptly get back on. In the Northern Hemisphere, the arrival of summer triggers another influx of health club offers, as too does the start of a new school year in September (USA). In fact, according to Google, searches for “New Year’s resolutions” begin as early as September. Seasonally, the Christmas and New Year’s period in the Southern Hemisphere (summer) lends itself to 360 degree marketing, with gyms and health clubs advertising outdoors as well as in-house, online, and across social media platforms.

Content marketing spells big business for the health and fitness world. Around the new year, everything from user-generated content, and influencer marketing, to ultra-inclusive campaigns and even podcasts are utilised in fitness advertising. According to a 2018 User Generated Content Report Study by Tint Marketing, 64% of consumers actively seek out reviews before they commit to handing their money over, with 75% of people believing that UGC content makes marketing more authentic.

In terms of creating ultra-inclusive campaigns that hint at a more realistic, maintainable approach to health and fitness, the New Year is still the time these campaigns go to market. 2017 in the UK saw initiatives such as ‘This Girl Can’ by Sport England (which got 1.6 million women exercising), and Public Health England’s Active 10 campaign. Digital activity for both started around the buzz of New Year’s resolutions, officially launching on TV and print media in subsequent months.

Whether you’re looking to send out your own fitness related advertisements, manage your New Year campaigns, or get your DAM strategy into shape in 2019, Adstream is here to help.

 

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