ParticipAction wants you to poop and have sex better

The non-profit's latest campaign turns the focus to adults and getting them active for reasons beyond weight loss.



Non-profit ParticipAction has shifted its target with the launch of a new platform aimed at getting Canadian adults more active.

As part of a new national campaign that debuted this week as a part of its new “Everything gets better when you get active” platform, TV spots open on a colorful scene with a person doing a physical activity such as swimming, dancing, judo and even hacky sack. The spots then go on to show those same people experiencing how physical activity has made a different aspect of their life better – showing them sleeping, unwinding in a bath, bonding with a partner over pottery making or enjoying their time in a bathroom stall.

The campaign also features one surprising billboard with the words “Poop Better” spelled out in large type, with other headlines like “Think Better,” “Love Better” and “Unwind Better” to showcase the range of improvements one can achieve with physical activity. The national campaign also includes digital ads, social content and radio. Agency Zulu Alpha Kilo led creative, with Cossette Media handling the media planning.

Originally known to focus on the physical health of children, the new campaign signals a shift in ParticpAction’s target. While ParticipAction won’t totally depart from promotion the health of children, a new strategy adopted by the organization for the next five years will put more emphasis on adults.

“We know that Canadian adults, especially parents, are role models for their children and targeting them to be more physically active resonated well with the message the organization has,” says Elio Antunes, president and CEO of ParticipAction. “One of the (underlying) messages of the campaign is about aging better.”

In a recent survey conducted by the organization, Canadians ranked their energy level, quality of sleep and stress management as top aspects of their life they would want to improve if they had the chance, leading to the campaign’s insight and focusing on broader benefits of physical activity beyond weight loss.

The brand has found a way to retain the light-hearted tone in the creative execution, similar to its previous campaigns. But what is different in this campaign, Antunes notes, is an approach to messaging where “instead of us saying that physical activity is good for you, this campaign helps people evaluate the areas of life that they want to improve.” This message of being physically active ties back to areas of life such as sleeping better or having a better sex life, activities that people wouldn’t associate necessarily with being physically active.

The omnichannel campaign will be tied back to future initiatives, like a digital tool that provides custom physical activities people can undertake based on their schedules, as well as a community challenge in spring of 2019.