Brands and the world of fitness

How can advertising drive changes in our behaviour

18 weeks. It’s been 18 weeks that I’ve been able to maintain a steady fitness routine that involves working out from 6:30 to 7:30 am, 5 times per week. Throughout this fitness journey, I’ve lost weight, gained muscle mass, and noticed a significant improvement in my overall well-being. I love it. I love working out and the feeling I get after completing a workout.

It’s no surprise that fitness has gotten more and more popular over the last few years. And this morning, while walking to my car after finishing my workout, I had a sudden thought. This time I asked myself; what’s been causing this fitness trend? Why are people exercising more, eating more healthy, and taking care of themselves better than they did just a few years ago?

I have a few theories, but one of them is directly related to advertising — so I’ll just focus on this one for now.

I’m a firm believer that brands can leverage the power of advertising to modify behaviours in the long-term. And fitness is just one example of how brands were able to do just that. Brands like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armor have shifted our perspective of working out by making us feel like athletes. Through inspiring photoshoots, relevant sponsorships with our favourite athletes, and innovative products, they were able to turn the after-thought of fitness into a lifestyle. These brands have been able to keep up with technology to improve and expand their product offerings over the years, bringing better footwear, apparel and fashion-oriented accessories. Nike releasing a Training/Running Club app and partnering with Apple to create a global movement to encourage people to run together has kept the brand top-of-mind when shopping for fitness stuff. By focusing on fitness, Nike was able to inspire people from all over the world to drop bad habits and pursue an active lifestyle.

This fitness trend has been so popular that a sub-trend has emerged last year. A trend that brings fitness and lifestyle together to create something we call “athleisure”. I’ve only heard about this word recently but check out how the search interest have increased over the last 5 years!

Search interest of “athleisure” over the last 5 years.

The dictionary defines athleisure as a “style of clothing worn as athletic apparel but also suitable for casual, everyday wear”. This is the proof that brands have successfully been able to make fitness a lifestyle.

The rise of wearable technology products helping us track and share our workouts is just another example of how brands have been focusing on fitness more and more over the years.

Personally, I’m looking forward to see what place will technologies like AR and VR occupy in the world of fitness.

Until then, stay active!

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