How this unreachable audience can add more muscle to your next campaign

The closure of essential places like health and fitness clubs has had a huge impact on the mental and physical well-being of the nation. And while instant lockdowns are still a potential reality, as we emerge from the recent and hopefully the latest wave of COVID, people are just as quickly returning to their normal ways.

Australians just want fundamentally better health

Australians are prioritizing their mental health and fitness goals more than ever. In our network of active health clubs, we use our DART facial analysis platform to measure audiences every week. Recent findings in the reopening states, NSW and VIC clearly demonstrate a rapid resurgence in fitness and health club attendance.


Not only are health club environments and audience patterns showing signs that they will normalize over the next few months, but they were in fact increasing before we headed for the latest lockdown, according to a study by May 2021 from the Fitness & Lifestyle Group, owners of Australia’s leading health clubs such as Fitness First, Goodlife and Jetts Fitness.

The data showed that consistent gym goers were motivated to resume their daily routines from before the pandemic, and that more and more people joined in the goal of improving their mental and physical health after a very tumultuous 18 months. . These data give confidence that upon exiting this second major lockdown, public desire and return will be higher than ever until 2022.

State of mind and emotional connection areproven contributors to the brand’s growth.

Here’s why this is good news: now is the best time to enjoy a premium environment that benefits from the most engaged audience away from home.1 – a valuable audience in a particularly positive, receptive and ambitious state of mind.

We call them “The inaccessible”. These are high value and hard to reach audiences in the premium, health and wellness category.

This audience is essential for the picking. They exercise a lot. They are focused. They are motivated. They feel good. This audience chose to be in this environment for 70 minutes per visit to improve their mental and physical well-being, which no other out-of-home space can really claim.

Val Morgan Outdoor’s (VMO) suite of assets across the entire health club network, presents an integrated proposition for brands that can engage with The inaccessible when they are in a positive and active free space.

With a portfolio of over 1,100 sites reaching an active audience of 1.35 million members 2-3 times per week, VMO Active offers advertisers greater “muscle building” to amplify their communications. Advertisers can take advantage of opportunities such as content co-creation, built-in club sponsorship, activation, and sampling opportunities to further engage this premium audience.

The media for good

After what appear to be countless restrictions and blockages, mental health has never been more important to all Australians. It is well documented that regular exercise keeps the brain healthy and positively affects mood and motivation.

It is therefore not surprising that the VMO Active audience in health and fitness clubs is particularly positive, receptive, ambitious and action-oriented. In fact, 80% of health club members say they feel their mood improves the more they work out.

For brands, VMO Active further provides a unique space and unprecedented opportunity to express important messages and topics on corporate social responsibility, with an influx of campaigns recently promoting mental health initiatives and development projects. sustainable.

Muscle memory: full recovery on the move.

Fitness & Lifestyle Group conducted a study in May 20212, by following the behaviors and expectations of regulars at the gym.

For gym goers at the time of the study, the level of security in their club was similar to that of other services such as cafes / pubs, schools and shopping malls – a level of comfort that is not shared by the entire population. Most members unblocked their memberships and returned quickly to their health clubs after each lockdown period, which correlates directly to our DART audience measurement analytics.

Interestingly, almost every member who canceled their membership in the past year did so as a direct result of COVID, as opposed to dissatisfaction with their health club. This group is much more concerned with the current levels of safety in common places and social activities in general, but also health clubs in particular. Once they felt comfortable, about half intended to join the same brand they had left, while one in four looked for something new.

Prior to the most recent lockdown, advertisers started cramming into the fitness club space, and we saw strong adoption in advertiser categories such as automotive, entertainment, products consumer and personal care products, many using VMO Active to further amplify their existing campaigns.

Australia is definitely on the right path to getting back in shape, with mental and physical health in mind. With the physical and mental fitness of Australians now more important than ever, there has never been a better time to generate more media with muscle, reaching a very unique, premium and engaged audience in HOV health clubs.


  1. Ethnographic study VMO 2019
  2. Survey of members of the Fitness and Lifestyle group, May 2021

About Roberto Frank

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