Why Spend $7M? Anytime Fitness Got a Super Lift Without a Big Game Ad

Campaign boosts brand image

It happens every year.

Brands with big ambition but conservative marketing budgets look to America's greatest advertising stage and ask themselves, "How can we break through?"

And not just break through nosily—but effectively. Grab attention in a way will generate tangible business results. It's tough. No doubt about it. But it all starts with an insight.

We wanted to build awareness and consideration of Anytime Fitness at a time when motivation starts to wane (long gone are those New Year’s resolutions). And we needed to do it in a way that showcased Anytime Fitness' unique offerings. With more than 5,000 locations open 24-hours on all seven continents, and hybrid in-gym-at-home personalized fitness plans and coaches, this brand makes it easy to start your fitness journey literally anytime, anywhere.

Teaming up with our creative AOR Mischief, we thought how fun it would be to turn the Super Bowl into a game anyone can play anytime, anywhere. (Without buying a half-minute in-game slot for $7 million!)

So, we decided that anytime anyone heard the word "anytime," during Sunday's Fox telecast, we would give away free memberships and the chance to win a trip anywhere in the world there's an Anytime Fitness location.

We used a one-two punch of social and TV—knowing that the game would be watched by a generation of multi-screeners, phones in one hand, TV remotes in the other. 

We launched a string of videos across social and digital media to pre-seed the competition a week prior to the Super Bowl. Copy explained our concept: "Anytime an A-list actor says 'anytime' in an ad for a cryptocurrency that won't be around next year," or "Anytime a pop superstar sings 'anytime' while cramming a career’s worth of hits into a 20-minute halftime." You get the idea. 

A PR push was led by Fish Consulting, which helped get people talking. The rest was powered by contextual OOH that greeted football fans as they landed at the Phoenix airport. One billboard, directed at commentator Greg Olsen, read: "If you're a handsome former tight end calling the Big Game, say 'anytime.'” It worked, by the way—he said it twice.

Our campaign took social media by storm. The rate of engagement was unprecedented for Anytime Fitness. 

@AnytimeFitness was mentioned around 5,200 times—a 2,171 percent increase compared to daily average mentions. Campaign social content generated 37 million impressions, 18 million video views and total engagement for the brand increased tenfold.

Meanwhile, the #JustHeardAnytime hashtag was used nearly 6,000 times. Anytime's social media efforts resulted in 98.5 percent positive or neutral sentiment. 

This ultimately led to a hike in brand favorability by 10 points—reaching the highest the brand has ever seen. 

Wow. The results don't lie. 

Was there ever a risk in this not working? Sure. But the riskiest thing Anytime Fitness could have done was to ignore the huge opportunity and do nothing. 

P.S. Since you're dying to know: "Anytime" was said three times during the game. Olsen said it twice in the first half, and it bubbled up once in a musical cue just before the half-time show.

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