Fitness brands have created a fiercely competitive marketing arena, with high stakes and high budgets.
In 2019 alone, Nike spent 3.75 billion US dollars on advertising and promotion, of course including an epic digital marketing advertisement. And they cranked out some awesome creative campaigns with that money, including the award-winning “Just Do It – Dream Crazy” ad.
But Nike isn’t the only fitness brand doing big things. Here are our favourite campaigns from fitness brands in 2019.
Peloton Christmas advertisement
This is a controversial opinion, but we enjoyed the much-talked-about Peloton advertisement. While it got backlash, it also got people talking. And although the company’s stock did fall after the fallout, Peloton did not expect to lose sales over the advertisement. In the fast-paced world of the internet, controversies are short-lived, and getting people’s attention is difficult. The Peloton ad got people talking, and really, isn’t that what marketing is all about?
Adidas International Women’s Day
Adidas won International Women’s Day in 2019. The brand shed light on an important issue in athletics: women athletes only receive 4% of sports media coverage. Adidas partnered with high-achieving female athletes with varied backgrounds, including Rahaf Khatib, an international marathon runner and the woman behind the popular “Run Like a Hijab” blog. Adidas took International Women’s Day to stand for a niche issue that female athletes face—lack of media representation—and the specificity of the message is what made it so powerful.
New Balance London Marathon
Fitness brands typically focus on the glory of the results – a gold medal, a won championship. It’s not every day that brands applaud the practice and training that goes into the accomplishments. New Balance changed that with its London Marathon campaign in 2019. In it, New Balance speaks to the 120 days of training that goes into running a marathon. Its unique messaging cut through the noise of typical fitness ads.
LNDR social media
LNDR is a relative newcomer in the fitness space, and it’s made quite a splash, even taking on Nike in a 2018 lawsuit. LNDR is a great example that you don’t have to spend millions on expensive TV adverts to find marketing success. Its “no bullshit” message resonates with women who are sick of activewear that doesn’t actually work for them. With classic colours and crisp imaging, LNDR doesn’t rely on trendy gear to cut through the clutter. Instead, LNDR’s messaging uses cutting copy and a tell-it-like-it-is attitude in its social media campaigns. And this subtle marketing has got our attention.
Lucozade Women’s World Cup campaign
Aside from its well-known sports drinks, Lucozade Sport became popular last year for its Women’s World Cup campaign. With the goal of empowering and encouraging more female participation on the football pitch, the company launched a campaign in collaboration with the English Lionesses team.
The campaign involves a captivating video with a new rendition, composed by Lucozade, of “Three Lions,” the English team’s unofficial anthem. The anthem expresses the challenges and victories of overcoming prejudices against women in sport. The Drum reports that in addition to the campaign, Lucozade Sport “offered 90,000 minutes of free pitch time nationwide through Powerleague and Goals football centres,” actively creating opportunities for more women to participate in the sport. Given this level of awareness and care about gender disparities in football, Lucozade shows how to properly invest in what you believe in.
Puma x Selena Gomez
Puma’s marketing strategies differ from most fitness brands. The brand has a strong footing in the high fashion world, featuring product collaborations with respected designers like Ronnie Fieg and presenting its products at exclusive shows in Paris during fashion week, something quite unheard of in the fitness marketing space. While Nike and Adidas feature athletes in their campaigns, Puma features a-list celebrities like Rihanna and, more recently, Selena Gomez.
This has helped to grow the brand’s popularity and according to Business of Fashion, “Puma said it expects sales to rise by about a currency-adjusted 10% in 2019 and operating profit of between €395 million and €415 million, while it is on track to meet a target for an operating margin of 10% by 2021/22.”
With this projected exponential increase in sales, Puma proves that it is a force to be reckoned with. Follow the campaign here.
Nike: Just Do It – Dream Crazier
When it comes to fitness brand campaigns, it is impossible to have a conversation without including Nike. Nike launched the Just Do It strapline in 1988 and since then, the phrase has only got fresher. In its Just Do It- Dream Crazier campaign, Nike puts itself at the centre of cultural conversation, championing and celebrating current female athletes such as Serena Williams, Ibtihaj Muhammad, and Simone Biles, among many, who have broken barriers and inspired future generations of female athletes.
The campaign has two parts; it includes a video showing the triumphs of the athletes and a series of photographs of each athlete with inspirational sayings like “Be the hero you didn’t have” and “If they think your dreams are crazy, show them what crazy dreams can do.” With this kind of messaging, Nike has transformed itself into a fitness brand aimed at creating more inclusive social narratives.
Fitness brands continue to step up their games in the marketing arena, and we are excited to see what 2020 has in store for both the big names, like Nike, and newcomers, like LNDR. What were your favourite fitness campaigns from 2019? For more marketing roundups, check out the MintTwist blog.
This guest blog was brought to you by Hoot Design Co., a US-based creative agency.