Olive: survival of the fittest

Yves Perreault says inventive advertising is helping a Quebec retailer maintain its leadership position in a highly competitive market.Perreault is creative director of Olive Communication, Montreal, a Quebec City-based shop which is doing dynamite advertising for Nautilus Plus, a 20-store chain...

Yves Perreault says inventive advertising is helping a Quebec retailer maintain its leadership position in a highly competitive market.

Perreault is creative director of Olive Communication, Montreal, a Quebec City-based shop which is doing dynamite advertising for Nautilus Plus, a 20-store chain of Quebec fitness and training centres.

Their latest campaign features a hot cinema ad and an equally hot brochure.

With a good concept, awesome art direction and inspired copywriting, Olive takes full advantage of the subtleties each medium offers.

The 60-second cinema ad is wild.

The camera slowly zooms inside a large, mist-filled warehouse-like room filled with all sorts of strange-looking equipment.

A large glass ball appears in the foreground, filaments inside it spark wildly.

The surrealism continues. A split shot of a men’s and women’s locker room shows two people putting on their workout gear.

Cut back to the surreal warehouse.

A reworked version of Led Zeppelin’s song, Whole Lotta Love, pounds as two women pump the machinery. Cuts in the film are synched with punches in the music.

The color of the lighting changes as the spot unfolds.

It starts off black and grey and gradually evolves to hues of blue and orange. Perreault says this is to reflect the changing temperature and condition of the people working out.

The marketing strategy is to attract people who are serious about physical conditioning.

‘We wanted to appeal to people with the right reason,’ Perreault says. ‘People have had other reasons for joining the club.

‘In the 1980s, training was in fashion,’ he says. ‘It was the thing to do. Most clubs were meat markets. But people who came to Nautilus Plus to meet people were disappointed.

‘They would have been better off meeting people at a grocery store. We’re not, and never have been, a cruising bar.’

The creative strategy behind this spot is to try to legitimize the idea of the solitary workout.

‘A workout is an individual and very personal activity, and that’s what we wanted to show,’ Perreault says.

‘That’s why there are only two people working out in the ad, and there is no contact between them at all,’ he says.

Perreault chooses his words carefully.

Never mind legitimizing the solitary workout, this ad glamorizes it.

The individuals working up a big sweat in their Gothic gymnasium do not look lonely or depressed; they look robust, focussed, determined and sexy.

Perreault did not want to admit this was an objective, but the agency succeeded in creating a sexy ad.

There is also a sexy shower scene in which the man and woman shower separately, but sensuously.

The slogan in the cinema ad is ‘Y’a pas de mal a se faire du bien.’ The English slogan is ‘It’s your body, work it out.’

The brochure is a fine piece of design and copywriting. The headline/slogan/signature is ‘La machine humaine.’ This is an effective play on words and is consistent with the retailer’s marketing strategy.

Great photography, provocative copy and imaginative typography make this a highly persuasive brochure.

Nautilus Plus spends about $1.4 million per year on advertising. Most of that is funnelled into cinema advertising.

It also advertises on tv, radio and in a select group of newspapers and magazines.

Cinema ads are the perfect means of communicating with Nautilus’ target market, Perreault says.

Research shows that people who work out go to theatres three times more often than those who do not. Nautilus customers go six times more often.