Planet Fitness hits the gym with Megan Thee Stallion

Planet Fitness hits the gym with Megan Thee Stallion

Snapshots of the latest in creativity, behind-the-scenes looks into the best work and deep-dive analysis on hot industry topics.

Hey everyone, this is Sabrina Sanchez, creative editor at Campaign US, back in your inbox to keep you on your toes for another year. Buckle up, there’s a lot of news to catch up on since we all snoozed our email notifications at the end of 2023. But first…

New in Campaign US this week: 

ICYMI during the holidays:

  • Creatives embraced AI in 2023, but there’s a long way to go
  • Adland backtracked on its DE&I commitments in 2023. Leaders worry 2024 will be worse
  • Grey Group restructures global creative leadership team
  • Backlash against Zara’s Gaza-resemblant campaign underlines the importance of impact over intention 
  • Kathleen Saxton to step down as CMO of Omnicom
  • Edelman appoints Taj Reid as US chief creative officer
  • Branded Roblox games got 1.8 billion visits in 2023, report finds

Editor’s Pick

Just briefly: Fire up the tax software, put away the booze and get yourself a membership with Planet Fitness — it’s 2024! Brands have kicked off the New Year with campaigns about health and fitness, Dry January and doing our civic duties, especially gym brands. But Planet Fitness in particular partnered with the mother of fitness — rapper Megan Thee Stallion.

Behind the scenes: The campaign, launched on Dec. 28, invites aspiring hotties to tap into their Big Fitness Energy and hit the gym with a 30-second spot featuring the artist, whose real name is Megan Pete, telling people looking to get fit why they should choose Planet Fitness. Pete emphasizes the brand’s environment, which is a “judgment-free zone,” and frames herself as “Mother Fitness,” the benevolent fitness goddess who rescues her innocent "hotties" from three different toxic gym enemies: the intimidating trainer, sleazy upseller and obnoxious fitspo fake.

The campaign includes a co-branded merch line featuring catchphrases such as “Big Fitness Energy for Everybody — ody, ody, ody” and “Real Hot Girl Fit,” as well as branded workouts featuring Megan Thee Stallion in the Planet Fitness app. Proceeds from the merchandise will go toward the Pete & Thomas Foundation, a nonprofit that provides education, housing and health and wellness resources to underserved communities.

The message: The campaign effectively pushes people to get back into shape by featuring a well-known figure in the mental and physical health advocacy space. Megan Thee Stallion has developed a reputation for opening up about her fitness journey online, including by posting the iconic squat exercises that help her get “stallion knees” (for twerking, of course), as well as her mental health in her music. Planet Fitness could not have chosen a better, more authentic fit for the message. 

Hot Topic

Despite the economic uncertainty that plagued 2023 and ushers in 2024, not everyone is looking for a full-time marketing gig in the new year. In fact, thanks to layoffs and return-to-office mandates, a recent study from Fiverr pro found that 80% of marketing leaders know of other marketers who have gone freelance. Meanwhile, the majority of marketing leaders (54%) had more freelancers on their staff in 2023 compared to previous years. 

While many took a layoff as a sign to pivot, Campaign US reporting has found that marketers are particularly interested in companies’ office policies. A Campaign US RTO survey found that as companies aggressively enforce in-office mandates, frustration is mounting among the workforce. Most employees who took the survey disagree (34.5%) or strongly disagree (38.5%) with enforcement efforts. And the industry continues to watch with bated breath for what companies will do next. 

As a result, while people’s priorities and circumstances have changed and employees seek more flexible freelance gigs, brands and agencies now find themselves having to rethink their workforce strategy. 

For the most part, the trend from agencies has been to stay the course on RTO. Yet the decline of full-time workers and the growth of freelancers has thrown a new factor into the workforce management debate. 

On the one hand, freelancers and vendors can bring efficiency and skills to a team that a company needs in-house. On the other, a scattered, inconsistent workforce could lead to unpredictability about compensation expenditures, availability and process. 

The dynamic begs the question: Will the industry be able to successfully retain full-time talent? Can it sustain a model that combines full-time and freelance work on a wider scale? How will a rise in freelancers impact output? Email us and we may include your response in the next newsletter. 

What we’re reading 

  • Everything you need to know about Mickey Mouse's public domain debut (Gizmodo)
  • With Gen Z all about the group chat now, here's how marketers are adapting (Digiday)
  • Will 2024 mark the end of the ‘digital agency’? (WSJ)

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