- Planet Fitness debuted a campaign that aims to counter the notion that in order to exercise at a gym, you must participate in a competitive and potentially intimidating class environment, the company revealed in a press release.
- The effort kicks off with the "Don't Ride the Bike of Shame" ad, where a woman is shamed by a spin instructor after falling behind on the class scoreboard. The teacher leads the class to give the woman the "hiss of shame."
- To support the broader "Stop the Bullfit" campaign, Planet Fitness commissioned a study to determine Americans' perceptions and myths about exercise. Independent agency Barkley developed the campaign.
At a time when many people are joining gyms to aid in their New Year's resolutions, Planet Fitness is positioning itself as the gym for average people who are interested in exercising without succumbing to pressures of intense training. The "Stop the Bullfit" campaign launches as Planet Fitness continues to expand its reach nationwide with new locations and woo consumers who have yet to register for a gym membership and may be intimidated by the high-intensity classes offered by boutiques like Solidcore or Equinox.
Planet Fitness' report revealed frustrations with these types of boutique studios, fad fitness trends and social media competition prevent people from joining gyms. The Bullfit Report found that 80% of Americans don't belong to a gym and 55% said that turning exercise into a competition decreases their motivation to go. Additionally, 68% of those surveyed said they find leaderboards — common in many exercise classes — discouraging instead of their intended motivational purpose.
The gym chain's creative focused on exercise for average people aligns with its core offering of a $10-per-month membership, appealing to consumers that might balk at a $40 spin class and are instead looking for a place to go to get on the treadmill or take a yoga class.
The "Don't Ride the Bike of Shame" messaging supports past campaigns, such as a 2013 effort designed to cure Pinterest-induced stress. A "No Pintimidation" microsite aimed to help consumers combat pressures related to perfection seen on inspirational sites like Pinterest.
Planet Fitness' newest campaign comes amid major growth for the chain. In Q3 2019, the company posted revenues of $166.8 million, up 22.1% from the same period in 2018 and exceeding analyst expectations. The chain opened its 2,000th location in Colorado Springs on Dec. 31, 2019. In March, Planet Fitness teamed with Kohl's to open workout centers adjacent to some Kohl's stores, citing how malls are an appealing location to attract potential customers.