14 Fitness Brands Targeting Consumers Who Made New Year's Resolution To Lose Weight

Nike, Weight Watchers, Under Armour, debut campaigns to help consumers get healthy in 2015.

Content Marketing

It’s a familiar pattern: After gifts are exchanged and holiday meals are indulged, resolution season arrives. And, per U.S. government website USA.gov, losing weight is consistently among Americans’ most popular New Year’s resolutions. This is not lost on fitness brands, which have an annual opportunity to capitalize upon this known moment. The most successful of these brands strive to use said moment each January to make more personal connections with consumers.  

This year, fitness brands are tying in video and/or mobile content, including applications for wearables, which is no surprise as the industry anxiously awaits the launch of Apple Watch in early 2015 and competing devices continue to pepper the landscape. But, among fitness brands in particular, the big themes are tracking progress and delivering inspiration as they attempt to provide utility and establish more personal connections.

Here are 14 brands seeking to engage consumers to not only keep their resolutions, but also to create content that consumers actually want. Some are also capitalizing on the popularity of the trade show CES this week to make sure their efforts are seen by as many people as possible.

Equinox

Self-described upscale fitness brand Equinox recently unveiled its 2015 ad campaign, which it says is “an evolution of last year’s ‘Equinox Made Me Do It’ narrative.”

According to Equinox, the 2014 campaign highlighted “unbridled confidence and lowered inhibitions as consequences of a good workout.”

This year, the campaign celebrates the aftermath of a workout “pushing boundaries and disrupting preconceived notions – in a positive, unapologetic way,” the brand says.

The campaign includes a series of inspirational images on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram connected by the theme “No to resolutions. Yes to resolution,” and the hashtag #equinoxmademedoit.

Equinox says the images illustrate “strong individuals in diverse situations” and are “inspired by the idea that getting into great shape may get you into a little trouble” and are meant to “convey the confidence and empowerment associated with adventure and risk-taking.”

What’s more, a video associated with the campaign has 1.2 million views on Facebook as of January 5 (versus about 5,100 on YouTube).

Equinox says it chose to extend the “Equinox Made Me Do It” campaign to “further explore the consequences of a good workout and examine the feelings associated.”

Carlos Becil, chief marketing officer of Equinox, said in a prepared statement:

“Our members were the true inspiration behind the Equinox Made Me Do It campaign, and this year we saw an opportunity to evolve the narrative and the stories portrayed. Everything we do at Equinox is grounded in the idea of high performance living, empowering our members to be bold, be risk takers and push their limits, inside and outside of the club. This campaign embodies that pride and the adventurous spirit that speaks to the idea that it’s about more than just taking risks, it’s about owning the consequences.”


SoulCycle

As the International Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, kicks off, indoor cycling brand SoulCycle is going in a slightly different direction with a Las Vegas Pop-Up at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from January 6 to 8.

Per CES, the trade show includes more than 3,600 exhibitors and 150,000 to 160,000 attendees, meaning decent potential in-person exposure.

In order to reserve a complimentary bike at one of 11 classes during the three-day event, SoulCycle is asking fans to tweet @soulcycle with the date and time of their desired class and the hashtags #TwitterSoul and #CES2015.

In addition, according to reports, last year, CES was mentioned 688,347 times via social, reaching 6.67 billion people and the official #CES2014 hashtag was used 256,021 times with a reach of 2.88 billion, meaning the fitness brand is potentially roping itself into content with many, many more eyeballs.


Nike+

Nike+, a community that says it helps its members “stay motivated, challenged and connected,” put out a 2014 wrap-up video on Facebook with about 72,000 views. It includes 2014 stats, such as its members ran 250 million miles with Nike+ and earned 228 billion NikeFuel, or the metric that measures how much members move and provides “insights, motivation and opportunities to become a better athlete.”

The video also issues a challenge to beat 2014 in 2015 and to “outdo you in 2015 with Nike+.”

In addition, it directs viewers to a microsite that allows users to select cities like New York, Chicago, Toronto, and Los Angeles to find products, events, classes and sessions to help further reach those goals.


Under Armour

Athletic clothing brand Under Armour is using the New Year to push its inspirational I Will What I Want campaign, which it says “[celebrates] the inner and outer strength of women and highlights the brand’s commitment to designing innovative products for both female athletes and athletic females.”

In September, Under Armour announced supermodel Gisele Bundchen was joining the campaign in a 60-second video and interactive experience “highlighting her athleticism and unwavering dedication under pressure.”

The video, which has 2.5 million views, pulls in both positive and negative comments about Bundchen from social media.

It’s a pretty popular series. A similar video featuring ballet dancer Misty Copeland has 7 million views to date.

According to Under Armour, the related digital experience “serves as a community for women to track, analyze, and share their fitness and athletic lifestyle” and Under Armour ambassadors like Bundchen and Copeland “will actively participate, providing consumers with unique insights into their day-to-day activity and motivations.”

Other Under Armour Women of Will ambassadors include downhill skier Lindsey Vonn, professional tennis player Sloane Stephens and U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team member Kelley O’Hara.


Gold’s Gym

Gym chain Gold’s Gym, which, coincidentally, is celebrating 50 years in 2015, partnered with Microsoft in October on the Microsoft Band device, which, Microsoft says, helps consumers “achieve [their] wellness goals by tracking [their] heart rate, steps, calorie burn, and sleep quality,” in a promotional effort for new Microsoft Band owners, which ended December 31.

As a result of the partnership, Gold’s said Microsoft Band users would have access to customized 12-week workout plans created by a panel of “Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute celebrity trainers” and they would have the ability to download workout plans directly to the device.

“These Guided Workout plans will focus on the most popular fitness goals, ranging from building muscles and getting lean to staying healthy and boosting performance – taking the guess work out of the equation, and putting a virtual trainer right on your wrist,” Gold’s said in a statement.

The Microsoft Band will also feature Gold’s Gym curated workouts, including total-body workouts and body part-specific workouts, the gym brand added.

Microsoft Band users were also eligible for two weeks of free access to any Gold’s Gym as part of the promotion.

“Partnering with Microsoft on the Microsoft Band aligns perfectly with our mission at Gold’s Gym,” said Michael Cobb, chief marketing officer at Gold’s Gym, in a statement. “Together, with our goal-based workouts created specifically for Microsoft Band, we will help people achieve their potential through fitness.”


Planet Fitness

For its part, health club franchise Planet Fitness announced it was the “official fitness sponsor” of Times Square’s New Year’s Eve celebration. As a result, 25,000 spectators in Times Square received branded mittens and Planet Fitness was featured on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2015,” with show co-host Jenny McCarthy “leading the crowd in a special Planet Fitness New Year’s Eve cheer to be featured on air,” a press release said.

As a result, Planet Fitness launched a Twitter voting campaign that asked consumers to use the hashtag #PlanetAnythingsPossible to vote on lines to be included in the cheer, which, at the very least, inspired a series of tweets from McCarthy to her 1.3 million followers.

In addition, per reports, ABC’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” had 8 million viewers in the 8:00 hour that night, which is shortly after the cheer began at 7:06 (i.e., this inspirational cheer was potentially viewed by many consumers).


Weight Watchers

Weight loss brand Weight Watchers seems to have struck a chord with its My Butt video, which has 1.2 million views on YouTube since it was posted December 26. (The Facebook version has about 160,000 views.)

The video is part of the brand’s Help with the Hard Part campaign, which launched in November and, per Weight Watchers, “[shares] the truth that losing weight isn’t easy, simple or fun.”

The campaign launched with a 60-second spot, “If You’re Happy…,” which the brand says “illustrates one of the hard parts of losing weight: Our complex and emotional relationship with food.”

Weight Watchers says it wants to use an honest approach to “shift the focus from guilt and shame to a hopeful message that we can help people with the hard parts of managing their weight.”


Jenny Craig

To kick off 2015, weight loss program Jenny Craig announced spokeswoman Kirstie Alley has lost 50 pounds on the program and it is launching a new campaign called “The Moment.”

According to a press release, the Moment is a “real member-based campaign” featuring Jenny Craig members sharing their personal “ready now” moment, or “the moment they realized they were ready to take control of their health and weight and join Jenny Craig.”

Jenny Craig says the campaign will be fully integrated into its digital properties, including social media and videos and it invites consumers to share their own moments with the hashtag #TheMoment.


New Balance

Instead of Vine or Instagram video, footwear brand New Balance used Phhhoto, an iPhone app that allows users to “shoot instant, moving pictures” to wish its fans/followers a happy New Year on various social channels.

The iPhone app, which Vogue called one of the best apps of 2014, launched last year. Phhhoto is not yet available for Android devices.


Lululemon

On its blog, yoga-inspired athletic company Lululemon offered its fans mobile-friendly photos with tips for workouts that can be done anywhere, like parks, beaches, hotel rooms and on the road.

The brand says these “convenient workouts” were “devised so that you can exercise anytime, anywhere” and encouraged fans to save the photos on their phones for easy access.


FitBit and Jawbone

Coincidentally, activity tracker brands FitBit and Jawbone both blogged about New Year’s Eve.

FitBit looked at what its users’ activity levels look like on December 31 broken down by age while Jawbone looked at how late the world stays up on New Year’s Eve and used data from “hundreds of thousands of UP wearers who track their sleep using UP by Jawbone,” its activity tracker device.

These efforts come as the market gets more crowded.

On the eve of CES, for example, navigation equipment brand Garmin announced the launch of its Vívofit 2 device, which it says adds features to its daily activity tracker and will be showcased at the trade show.

In addition to a visual move bar on its always-on display that shows steps, calories, distance and time of day, Vívofit 2 features audible alerts that remind users when it’s time to get up and move, the brand says. It also includes one-year battery life and is water-resistant to 50 meters, so users rarely have to take it off, Garmin says.

An activity timer allows users to track and analyze individual workouts. During a workout, users can pair Vívofit 2 with a compatible heart rate monitor to track heart rate and zone data, or use its stopwatch feature to record timed activities with or without a heart rate monitor, Garmin adds.

“Vívofit 2 removes all obstacles holding you back from establishing healthy habits,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales, in a statement.


Nike and Adidas

Interestingly, two fitness power brands, Nike and Adidas, have put out videos that play on staying active throughout winter rather than simply making changes at the beginning of the year.

Adidas invites consumers to “share cold snaps” with the hashtag #openallwinter, but the video has only 66,000 views to date.

By comparison, Nike instead invites consumers to “choose your winter” and has netted 1.3 million views for its somewhat comical effort featuring actor Chris O’Dowd.

How do you think fitness brands can best connect with and inspire consumers at the beginning of the year and beyond?

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