Club Insider

Got Milk? Yes. Got Fitness? No.

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Derek BartonDerek Barton

Publisher's Note: It's terrific that Derek Barton, one of the brightest marketing minds in our industry, presents a concept here whose time has come. The idea? That our industry should unite to create a "Got Milk" style pr/advertising campaign for the entire health and fitness club industry nationwide. Speaking with Derek I learned that he originally had this idea in 1994 but had not pursued it. Also, Chris Rondeau, a partner in Planet Fitness, had mentioned the idea to me in an email a year or so ago. And, I have mentioned it several times in CLUB INSIDER over the past five years. So, great minds work alike, and I totally agree with Derek's idea, shared in this article. I believe it's high time that our industry create and deliver a central and focused marketing message for the health and fitness club industry to all of the American public, just like the highly successful "Got Milk" ads. I think Derek Barton and the other great marketing mind in this industry, Mike Grondahl, Founder and CEO of Planet Fitness, should team up and figure out how to lead the way to get this done!

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I was thinking about the award-winning ad campaign from the Milk Advisory Board, "Got Milk?" and how sales for milk went up dramatically across the nation after the launch of that campaign. Then, I thought of other advisory boards and associations that boosted their members' sales from a national ad campaign. The Raisin Growers of California came to mind with their animated raisins dancing across our television screens to the hit song, "I Heard it Through the Grapevine." Thus, another award-winning campaign that took a losing product out of the red and into the black.

This made me think about the fitness industry. What if our Association, IHRSA, led a powerful ad campaign that could give gym owners the same kind of success the Milk and Raisin campaigns did for those industries?

Why not employ the same marketing strategy with the more than 30,000 health clubs in the United States? Since IHRSA needs more members, and gym owners need more members, and our government is trying to tackle the obesity epidemic, this could be a win/win/win for everybody.

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