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At-Home Fitness Advertising: The Importance of Brand Connection for Creative Effectiveness

October 5, 2020

Despite the slow re-opening of gyms and fitness clubs, many consumers still prefer the safety, comfort, and convenience of working out at home. With that, many home fitness brands have turned to traditional TV advertising to build brand awareness and reach this broad audience of potential home fitness users.

We have previously shared three emerging at-home fitness brands that have used TV advertising to target consumers, along with their ads’ in-market performance.

Leveraging Phoenix’s Fitness AdPi model (which captures home fitness equipment, fitness accessories/wearables, and app-based fitness programs), we analyzed the creative components of several home fitness brands’ ads. We’ve found that ads tested from NordicTrack and Fitbit, established brands in the home fitness market, have strengths that ads from emerging brands (Mirror, Tonal) lack, specifically around the ability to deliver a strong Brand Connection – a necessary building block to establishing category-leading creative effectiveness.


NordicTrack’s “Results” ad successfully conveys brand trust, showcases a brand that consumers want to be associated with, and portrays a brand that fulfills consumers’ needs. This ad features prominent product placement, coupled with a voice-over narrative about their interactive personal training feature, creating a strong Brand Connection.

Mirror & Tonal

While Mirror’s “Window To Fitness” & Tonal’s “Tonal Challenge” ads are doing a great job showcasing product information in an engaging manner, they lack the ability to communicate trust and build an overall strong brand connection with their audiences. Their advertising, which appears very similar to each other and less memorable than the NordicTrack spots, struggles with effective brand communication and differentiation in this rapidly-crowding market.

If these brands hope to stand out in the at-home fitness category, they need to consistently invest in the long term to improve their Brand Connection.

Honorable Mention with Brand Communication

Fitbit’s “Bodies Are Incredible” also emerged as a top performer when it comes to Brand Connection and Trust, thanks to their ads featuring emotionally charged vignettes of milestones and everyday events that bring the product to life. Their ads link overall wellness with their wearable product, showcasing the brand in a way that drives perceptions of trust and desire to be associated with the product. Building strong brand trust is a great way to improve brand connection, and Fitbit achieved that with their recent advertising.


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AdPi® is Phoenix’s gold standard for pre-market testing and a holistic solution that informs each stage of creative development all the way through to launch. Looking to bridge the gap between pre-market creative development and in-market tracking? Our newly-developed AdPi-Brand Effect Platform offers clients a seamless solution to maximize ad performance using creative diagnostics (AdPi®) to generate forward-looking estimates to understand your creative’s full in-market performance potential (Brand Effect).

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