Bally Hopes Campaign Meets Its Potential

Bally Total Fitness began a “Meet Your Potential” ad campaign this month featuring real people who made a pledge to get fit.

“Meet Your Potential” was created in-house and began airing in 30- and 60-second television spots the first week of January. The TV ads consist of seven spots, featuring success stories, and will roll out nationally over the next several weeks. The campaign will extend through radio, print and online ads and be reinforced by in-club promotions and events throughout the year.

Bally is the largest nationwide commercial operator of fitness centers, with 440 facilities in 29 states, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, China and the Caribbean under the Bally Total Fitness, Crunch Fitness, Gorilla Sports, Pinnacle Fitness, Bally Sports Clubs and Sports Clubs of Canada brands. Bally products and services target active, fitness-conscious adult consumers.

The campaign features eight people who describe real situations that encouraged them to get fit, including a couple who say they both gained weight with the birth of their first child, a man who wants to bulk up and a 40-something woman who intentionally bought her bridesmaid dress a size too small and is determined to look great at her brother's wedding.

“For a fresh approach we chose to feature regular-looking people in our ads that everyone can relate to versus some of the extremes on TV with perfect-looking actors or models, or an incredulous amount of weight loss and cheesy infomercial production,” said Jim McDonald, chief marketing officer for Bally Total Fitness, Chicago. “Each story begins with the individual's stated goal, and over the course of 30 days of filming we see the tailored approach Bally trainers took to achieve the goal and a transformation that is both inspiring and completely believable.”

Each spot features an individual who shares his or her personal account of taking the Bally Total Fitness 30-Day Program and the strides made toward a healthier, more fit lifestyle. While their physical change is obvious and appealing, each person also underwent a transformation that deeply altered and improved other aspects of their life, including their energy level, confidence, concentration and overall well-being.

To learn more about the people in the ads, visitors can enter a microsite,, accessible via Bally's site,

When visitors click on the site, they are prompted to create a personalized fitness plan. When finished, they can enter their ZIP code to find the Bally club nearest them and sign up for a free trial membership. After entering the information, they are presented with a free pass, which they can print and bring to the Bally club they selected. The individual club may follow up with a phone call as well.

By expressing the company's understanding that every individual has a different set of goals, “Meet Your Potential” complements several initiatives that Bally already has launched in the field through its charge to make the fitness club experience more personalized. For example, the Build Your Own Membership plan, which launched nationally in the fall, lets members tailor their experience to fit their needs by choosing membership options and services from an a la carte menu.

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