Mind Virus E-Zine


Archive for December, 2012

Where’s The Love?

Thursday, December 13th, 2012


Have you seen the recent television commercials for the national fitness chain,¬†Planet Fitness? The commercials are not only entertaining, but they have impact on many levels. For those of you who are not yet familiar with Planet Fitness, they are a national chain whose goal is to promote fitness for “regular folks,” while excluding the stereotypical “muscle-head” hard-core body builders and power lifters who tend to grunt, scream, drop weights (mostly to draw attention to themselves) and intimidate less physically fit members. Planet Fitness is rapidly becoming one of the largest and most successful fitness chains in the USA.

The Planet Fitness television commercials are very entertaining. One of my favorite opens with a guy who’s in really good shape, being obnoxious as he attempts to hit on women in a Planet Fitness. He pulls down on two draw strings attached to his shirt, which raises his shirt like a shade – thus revealing his washboard abs. The camera then cuts to an aerial view looking across the inside of the Planet Fitness – where off in the distance is a voice screaming, “Hey – did anyone lose a washboard…because I found it over here!”¬†Eventually the body builder is shown the door. In the background is their trademark music, “dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb.”


Another commercial opens with a body builder completing his enrollment paperwork at a Planet Fitness – all the while flexing his pecs and screaming, “Bang, bang….bang, bang, bang, POW…bang, bang” (LOL). It’s hilarious!


What’s the message?

What are the Planet Fitness television commercials trying to say? The most obvious message is that their clubs are for “normal people,” not body builders or power lifters.

But there’s much more that they’re saying!

First…Planet Fitness is telling us that what they see as “obnoxious” behavior will not be tolerated.

Second…Planet Fitness is telling us that “obnoxious” behavior makes the “muscle heads” look like idiots. Thus, the message that they are transmitting is LARGER than just “these muscle heads won’t be tolerated at our clubs.” The message is more of a societal lesson – an ounce of prevention if you will. Even the closing music (“dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb”) makes a very declarative statement about what this fitness chain thinks of “muscle heads,” and what they are UNWILLING to accept in terms of clientele.

Third…Planet Fitness has flipped the table on the “muscle heads.” Recent data (and A LOT of it) has revealed that the carryover from the Planet Fitness advertising campaign is contributing to a shift in the perception of a “muscle head” from just being a little obnoxious and self-absorbed individual, to being a big dumb bully. In other words, the data specifically includes references to the Planet Fitness campaign (LOL). I am not saying that this is fair or unfair. I’m just telling you how an advertising campaign can contribute to a perception shift.

Fourth…Planet Fitness has dictated who they are, and who they will accept into their “community.” Additionally, they have effectively utilized their advertising to the degree that members are fully aware that behavior that borders on “judging those who are less muscular and/or less fit,” is totally unacceptable. Planet Fitness locations even created a new term for obnoxious “muscle-heads”; a Lunk. And if the Lunk Alarm goes off in a Planet Fitness location, then someone has just been found guilty of dropping their weights, grunting, judging, etc.

The takeaway from today’s blog is that it is very possible to take greater control over your business, especially if the end result is going to lead to greater success. If you’re especially good at crafting a powerful message, you may even be able to create a perception shift.

Have A GREAT Day!

…Dr. Marc & The Mind Virus Team