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The Devil Wears Primarni

New year, new me! I’m going to lose that extra half a stone, attempt a new fitness class, cut back on alcohol, and learn how to eat healthier. Sound familiar?

Well, according to the latest Google research, searches for ‘ideas’ on mobile devices have grown over 55% in the past two years.(1) So, whilst people are becoming more curious and looking for ideas and inspiration, fitness brands have also been busy in preparation for the new year. Some well-known brands in this sector have become focused on changing brand perceptions as well as modernizing their core brand values.

Following the rather controversial “Are you beach body ready?” campaign by Protein World, this year the brand is barely recognisable with a new all-inclusive approach: #EveryBodyWorks.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received over 378 complaints (2) from the “Are you beach body ready?” campaign as the public questioned it for being offensive and socially irresponsible.  This year the brand’s approach aims to reach a far broader demographic, featuring different genders, nationalities, lifestyles and sizes. This new campaign includes a mum juggling motherhood whilst practicing yoga, which seems worlds apart from the “perfect body” image portrayed in previous campaigns. This could be seen as a wise move for the brand as they promote fitness and wellbeing over an idealistic physical appearance.

Meanwhile, Primark has partnered with Alice Liveing, a health and fitness blogger to promote their new exercise range. The clever collaboration aims to change perceptions of the”cheap and cheerful” brand whilst building trust through the use of an influencer with a dedicated follower base of 626k people. A lot of the content was produced in Iceland, currently a very en-trend destination, which helped to raise the profile of this launch and increase public interest. Alice modelled some swimwear in the iconic Icelandic Blue Lagoon and followers were shocked to find out that her swimsuit was in fact from Primark.

Alice’s photos and videos have sparked conversation amongst followers who couldn’t believe the new range is from Primark and therefore started to share and amplify the content.

Another change this year has been Facebook’s decision to cut back on the level of branded content in the newsfeed. In the announcement in mid-January, Zuckerberg communicated that a key priority for Facebook in 2018 is making sure that the time users spend on Facebook, is time well spent. “Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.” This highlights the need for brands to listen and stay relevant to their target audience.

[1] Think with Google.

[2] https://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/protein-world-ltd-a15-300099.html

 

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