15 June 2012

Marketing an Image. Part 1

Posted by Jody under: Business .

A big thanks should go to theBally/Crunch corporation and ad agency for its January direct mail promotion that undermines the hard work of club operators across the country to improve the image of fitness centers. Maybe you missed it. If so, I’d like to show you just how offensive it is.This direct mail card, which mailed to hundreds and possibly thousands of individuals, sets our industry back to a time when sexual images were the norm — when the image of fitness centers was about catering to people by emphasizing bodies.

I think I know what the Bally/Crunch agency staff might say intheir defense, that they are trying to make a point that all “types” of people are members of Crunch. But the reality is, they flubbed. If they really wanted to send that message, they would have pictured “clothed” individuals and/or certainly members of both sexes. And, they most certainly would not have chosen what is clearly sexually provocative posing.The agency staff would most likely also say that this type of marketing is their image, so there is nothing wrong with the piece. Once again, they flubbed. This marketing postcard was brought to my attention by someone very much offended by it — not one of the Crunch clientele who might respond to its shock value. This is not the first time this direct mail piece has gotten bad press. To his credit, Norm Cates, publisher of Club Insider, ran a letter to the editor by a general partner at a Gold’s Gym location about its offensiveness. In the same February 2003 issue of Club Insider, was an editorial piece written by Michael Scott Scudder criticizing Bally/Crunch for this marketing faux pas.

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