Brand Experience

Why do most fitness ads suck?

04 December, 2018

Okay Riley, why DO most fitness ads suck?


It comes down to three questions: “Is this new or a commodity? So what? Will this work for me?”


This is where 99.9% of fitness ads on Facebook go wrong. I could write a book on this, and plan to, but for now I’ll focus on those three questions and the largest fitness market out there – Middle aged women.


Visualise that you’re a 35 year-old mother of a 6 and 4 year-old, living in Melbourne. Every day you check your Facebook feed in regular intervals. In this particular instance, it’s 2pm, the sun is shining outside, and you’re sitting on the black couch FINALLY for a half hour break before it’s time to grab the kids from school. So you begin to scroll through Facebook on your iPhone.


Slide… Tap, Tap-Tap, Slide… Tap-Tap… Slide… Slide…


What you’ve just done is scroll down, liked two of your friends’ photos, then skipped past an ad. The ad looked like the one below.


So let me ask you… If your life is your family, you’ve just been looking at some friends holiday and baby photos, WHY WOULD YOU CARE ABOUT SOME GYM EQUIPMENT? …Chances are you don’t.

“New Club, new equipment” – So what?

“New classes, new trainers” – Can’t I walk into any of the 12 gyms within 4km and get that?

“Join as a VIP Member & save” – I don’t think I’m interested in what you have to begin with, and have no idea what value this will actually bring to my life…


If you take a screenshot of every Facebook ad you see for gyms over the next few weeks and put them all together, you’ll begin to see the trends. These big guys like Anytime, Snap, Zap fitness and more, all have 8 common phrases they interchange. “Join Now. Sign up now. Sale ends __. No joining fee. 7 day trial. Train now pay later. 8 week challenge.”


Those phrases have been so overused by every gym everywhere, that your market literally doesn’t even register seeing such an ad. They all look the same! Not to mention the fact that your clients really don’t care about the offer. I can’t stress enough the importance of tailoring your gym lead generation plans to your target demographics.


Now let’s talk about the three questions I mentioned at the start.


“Is this new or is it a commodity?”

Every single day you’re being judged on this. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, or what you sell, people are always looking for a way to throw you into piles with other options and chose the best deal. By positioning yourself exactly the same as everyone else, you’re giving them NO OPTION but to do this! Leaving price as the only determining factor to who they join, and the net result of zero profits. Firstly, you must never use the same words, phrases or offers as your competitors. Secondly, focus on the end results, not the product.


“So what?”


Let’s say you’re no longer positioned as a commodity. But why should the prospect give a shit? What is it about your offer they should actually care about (besides saving $300)? Never ASSUME your prospect is going to automatically link training equipment and classes with their two driving forces – Escape from pain, and pursuit of pleasure.


Sure, if they think about it enough they’ll make the link. Get VIP Membership > Access to Equipment > Can train regularly > Lose excess fat, gain strength, energy and reduce fatigue = Happy, healthier life where I can watch my children grow up and live with a smile. See, they just had to go through FIVE connections to finish at their core desire, don’t expect people to do this within half a second on Facebook… You have to give them what they REALLY want. Immediately.



“Will this work for me?”


Now that you’ve escaped commoditisation and promised to deliver upon their core desires, they need to know your offer is going to work for THEM. This is why it’s important to A) Niche your marketing and B) Provide social proof.


Niche marketing is the polar opposite to the ad you see above. It doesn’t call out any particular demographic or area, any core desire or pain, or even show an image of the most eye-catching thing to humans – Other humans.


Imagine how different the situation would be if this 35 year-old mum saw a photo of a group of other women roughly her age, standing together with a big smile, and the ad says they’re looking for MUMS of HER AREA to join their program! Such a huge different in affinity! The mum assumes that the program is for her cause it appears to be working for a number of local women just like her already, and it’s not a program for 16 year old girls or older men, it’s for middle aged mums like her!


Which leads me onto social proof. Not only are stock photos average – Easily accessed, but not very genuine or inviting, but large group photos show the realness of the community and portray the fact that not all clients are super fit big-booty bodybuilders. Partner these ads with testimonials and statistics (using exact numbers like “273” for impact, not broad numbers like “hundreds”), and people will quickly learn to know, like and trust you.


A Final note.


There’s a few key takeaways for you. Firstly, start taking note of the similarities between every fitness ad and gym marketing tactics you see. Secondly, do everything humanly possible to escape commoditisation and speak directly to your prospects core desires. Thirdly, pick up my Generation 14 product for $1, watch some of our case studies, or have a chat to us. If you want to level up you need to take massive action!