GoodLife knows the struggle is real

The chain of fitness centres targets those who don't get out to the gym in its first digital campaign.

In its new “Make It Happen” campaign, GoodLife is looking to show Canadians who struggle to get regular exercise that they aren’t alone, but that their obstacles can still be overcome.

The lead spot in the campaign, dubbed “The Struggle is Real,” features people in their day-to-day lives finding the time to make their way to the gym. Real tweets about how hard going to the gym can be flash across the screen, before switching to one about how good it feels to finish a workout once the subjects make it to the front door.

Aside from the campaign video, “Make It Happen” will feature 18 other videos focusing on the stories of real members and employees, with subjects ranging from how they manage to fit a trip to the gym into their work day to how a heart attack convinced them to start living healthier. The videos will live on YouTube and have been collected on the “Make It Happen” microsite, which will be promoted on social media and through search engine marketing. GoodLife worked with North Strategic, Notch Video and the London, ON office of digital agency Arcane on the campaign.

John Muszak, VP of marketing and public relations at GoodLife Fitness, says its past marketing has mostly been based around the gym’s philosophy of giving every Canadian the opportunity to live a fit, healthy, good life. One thing the company had found, though, was that getting people motivated to sign up for a membership and regularly visit the gym was a barrier to achieving that goal.

GoodLife commissioned a survey conducted by Ipsos and found the most common barriers cited for not going to the gym regularly were financial concerns (30%), lack of time (27%), fatigue (20%) and commitments to work, family or volunteering (20%). When the same people were asked what would motivate them to work out regularly, 25% said setting a personal goal or life choice, with 20% saying having a training partner and 18% saying a health crisis or recommendation from a doctor.

Despite the wealth of content in the campaign, none of the videos released so far actually show anyone working out at a GoodLife gym. Some fitness brands, like Nike and Adidas, have focused more on reaching people already interested in exercise with highly motivational campaigns. Muszak says the idea for “Make It Happen” was to focus on the 85% of Canadians who don’t regularly exercise.

“So many people feel intimidated to go to a fitness club and almost feel like they need to get in shape before joining a gym,” Muszak says. “[Other fitness brands] are likely geared towards the other 15%, and some of them might even be adding to that intimidation factor. Our philosophy means everything in moderation. It’s okay to have a beer or a chocolate sundae and it’s okay to only work out two or three days a week for 20 to 30 minutes, and we’re looking to show that’s all it really takes.”

The new campaign is the first time the chain of fitness centres, which has traditionally done broadcast advertising, has run a fully integrated digital campaign. Muszak says this was to to encourage a “conversation” around the videos on social media in the hopes others will share their own stories.