Active Aussies bounce back to fitness: How this unreachable audience can add more muscle to your next campaign – MuMbrella

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Aussies are on the way back to living and enjoying life like they used to before COVID-19 struck the nation. A good majority have even picked up new and healthy habits, carving out more time for activities that improve mental and physical fitness.
The closure of essential venues like health and fitness clubs has taken an enormous toll on the nation’s mental and physical wellbeing. And while snap lockdowns are still a potential reality, as we emerge out of the recent and hopefully the last COVID wave, people are bouncing back to their normal habits just as quickly.

Aussies just wanna have fun-damentally better health
Australians are prioritising their mental health and fitness goals more than ever before. In our Active health club network, we use our DART facial analytics platform to measure audiences weekly. The recent findings across reopening states, NSW and VIC clearly demonstrate a rapid resurgence in fitness and health club visitation.

Not only are health club environments and audience patterns showing signs that they will normalise over the coming months, but they were in fact growing before we headed into the latest lockdown, according to a May 2021 study by Fitness & Lifestyle Group, owners of Australia’s leading health clubs such as Fitness First, Goodlife and Jetts Fitness.
The data pointed to the fact that consistent gym-goers were motivated to get back to their daily pre-pandemic routines, and more people were joining in a bid to better their mental and physical health after a highly tumultuous 18 months. This data gives confidence that as we emerge from this second major lockdown, the desire and return of audiences will be higher than ever leading into 2022.
Mindset and emotional connection are proven contributors to brand growth.
Here’s why this is good news: now is the best time to take advantage of a premium environment that boasts the most engaged audience in out-of-home— a valuable audience in a uniquely positive, receptive, and aspirational mindset.
We call them ‘The Unreachables’. These are the hard-to-reach, high-value audiences in the premium, health and wellbeing category.
This audience is prime for picking. They are high on exercise. They are focused. They are motivated. They are feeling good. This audience has chosen to be in this environment for 70 minutes per visit to improve their mental and physical wellbeing, which no other out-of-home space can truly claim.
Val Morgan’s Outdoor (VMO’s) suite of assets across the entire network of health clubs, presents an integrated proposition for brands that can engage with The Unreachables when they’re in a positive and active headspace.
With a portfolio across more than 1,100 locations reaching an active audience of 1.35 million members 2-3 times each week, VMO Active provides advertisers with greater “media muscle” to amplify their communications. Advertisers can harness opportunities including content co-creation, integrated club sponsorship, activation and sampling opportunities to further engage this premium audience.
Media for good
After what seems like countless restrictions and lockdowns, mental health has never been of more importance for all Aussies. It is well documented that regular exercise keeps the brain healthy and positively affects mood and motivation.
It’s no surprise then that VMO Active audiences at health and fitness clubs are uniquely positive, receptive, aspirational and action-oriented. In fact, 80% of health club members say they feel their mood improving as they work out.
For brands, VMO Active further provides a unique space and an unparalleled opportunity to voice important corporate social responsibility messages and subjects, with an influx of campaigns recently promoting mental health initiatives and sustainability projects.
Muscle-memory: a full recovery in motion.
Fitness & Lifestyle Group conducted a study in May 20212, tracking the behaviours and expectations of returning gym-goers.
For gym-goers at the time of the study, the level of safety at their club was like that of other services such as cafes/pubs, schools, and shopping centres – a comfort level that is not shared by the wider population. Most members unfroze their memberships and returned to their health clubs quickly after every lockdown period, which directly correlated with our DART audience measurement analytics.
Interestingly, nearly all lapsed members who cancelled their membership during 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 safety levels of common places and social activities overall, but also health clubs in particular.  Once they feel comfortable, approximately half intended to re-join the same brand that they left, while one in four were looking for something new.
Before the most recent lockdown, advertisers started to pile back into the health club space, and we saw strong uptake across advertiser categories such as automotive, entertainment, FMCG and personal care with many using VMO Active to further amplify their existing campaigns.
Australia is truly on the way to be back-in-fitness, with mental and physical health top of mind. With Aussies mental and physical fitness now more important than ever before, there has never been a better time to generate more media with muscle, by reaching a highly unique, premium, and engaged audience at VMO health clubs.
VMO is Australia and New Zealand’s industry leader in digital-out-of-home, built for maximum audience attention and designed to deliver your brand outstanding results. The VMO network provides brands quality digital advertising across a range of key consumer destinations giving brands the attention they deserve.


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