Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"Heavy Weight" Billboards....Literally!

I had earlier spoken about Fitness centres using innovative application of traditional media - Billboards. That time, it was about Silberman Fitness Centre. Have a look at 2 more billboards, reinforcing the flexibility this medium offers. Great creatives indeed.

(Thanks to Ilya - Billboardroom!)

What is the key to marketing this service of Fitness and weight control?
In both the billboards, attention is grabbed by building around the same concept - a fat man deforming the shape of a billboard. However, on second thoughts, I believe (I could be wrong though) that the key emotion to be tapped laterally is "embarrassment" - to trigger people into feeling conscious about themselves and start using the products advertised. Crudely put, it does not communicate that "you need to become this from this" but "you better NOT be this". No Promises, No hopes, No aspiration values picked. Just highlighting the problem and asserting your capability - Simple, yet Elegant. Just push the people out of their habits and start using your brands. Interesting concept, nonetheless.

Traditionally, marketers used to draw a contrast between "before" and "after" stages of people, and the difference attributed to the advertised brand. Thereby, the aspiration value was tapped and hopes attached. Most of the people aspired to be identified with "good looks" and here was a brand that promised to take them there, with demonstrated results. This last bit was what was instrumental for major portion of sales.
This advertising technique was one of the major marketing platforms for the most famous Indian fitness centre - VLCC.

In India, over the past 10-odd years, fitness and weight loss has become almost synonymous with VLCC (Vandana Luthra Curls and Curves), with the company enjoying probably the strongest Brand Recalls in the country. Be it rapid weight loss, skin care treatment, or exercising, VLCC has virtually monopolized the Indian Fitness market and has emerged the Market leader in most of its service categories (not to undermine the other existing players).

The 17-year old business has been regularly expanding its product and service portfolio, to retain its position in the business. The website asserts
"As the market leader across various categories it operates in, VLCC has re-defined the wellness business. Having served over half a million customers since inception, VLCC today has achieved iconic status. Brand recall and awareness levels are very high".

Successful up-selling and cross selling, penetration into middle-income segment and High repeat business are some of its key features. So much so, that it has resulted in VLCC being awarded the 'health and beauty retailer of the year' in 2005.

Jumping on the tagline "Shaping your confidence" created by JWT, VLCC focuses on Direct Marketing through mailers, and boasts of a strong CRM model. This entails high repeatability and in turn, consumer loyalty. Though the services come at a premium, an equivalent quality in service levels is ensured with modern equipment, counseling services and other value-added services.

Beauty and fitness market has quickly evolved in India, with both the genders becoming equally conscious about their appearances and health. This is backed strongly by the rapid rise of the young consumers with high disposable income. According to an old article in Hindu Business Line, the Fitness industry had already crossed the Rs. 1000-Crore mark last year and is growing currently at a rapid pace of 50%. This is further complemented with a strong demand from the corporates and the affluent class for fitness equipment installations and services… Just the season VLCC would dream for ;-) .

Recently, the company has developed strategies for the SME segment and has identified a strong marketing potential in that segment. Need to delve further into the promotional strategies of the company before rambling about it :-).

1 comment:

luccy said...

A whole array of anti-obesity pills and medicines are available in the market that helps you to trigger off successful weight loss but the weight loss diet pill Xenical is somewhat different as it prevents around 30% of the fat you take from being absorbed in your system. This further leads to less fat accumulation and ultimately weight loss becomes a reality. For more details on Xenical, visit the website http://www.weight-loss-truths.com