Rethinking The Business Of Wellness

Why This Precor Discovery Ad Misses The Mark By A Mile

Big names and big advertising budgets don’t guarantee good ads.
Precor ad full page

1) Don’t these machines look pretty much like ALL selectorized equipment?

Certainly to normal people they would. I don’t think most of you can spot significant differences either.
Just as a reminder, here’s what OTHER selectorized equipment looks like:

Technogym equipmentCybexPrecor

2) Do these ‘differences’ even matter?

Most selectorized equipment lets you start with low weights. Automotive-grade seats? Most people don’t love sitting in their cars, so why choose this comparison? They mention “gas-assisted” adjustments without explaining what this means and why it matters.  (There’s also a typo – “exercises” should be “exercisers.”) Precor - ad text

3) Plus, how would consumers know?

Even if those differences actually improved the experience for consumers, how would anyone know that this equipment is actually different? Most people use selectorized equipment on their own. No one’s standing there to tell them all about the details. So if they’re truly intimidated, they’ll never find out about all this theoretically “less intimidating” stuff because you can’t tell it’s even there UNLESS you’re brave enough to try it. At which point, intimidation has, somehow, conquered itself, no thanks to Precor.

 4) Ripped, aren’t they?

I am cynically tickled to see that every single model in this ad looks extremely fit…thank goodness they were able to overcome their Extreme Equipment Fear and get on with their workout. And no sweating, either. Sparkly and buff – that’s how I always look in the middle of my workouts.  Of course, it’s images like this that REALLY turn off customers. Especially since everyone here looks like they’re in their 20s, with the possible exception of that guy in the blue t-shirt. Precor ad - models & equipment

5) Conspicuously absent

And yet the most compelling marketing possible is conspicuously absent here. And that’s a photo of a real person, talking about why they actually found this equipment easier and more empowering to use.

2 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    The ad doesn’t seem to be catering to exercisers. It seems to be catering to managers and club staff who might be placing orders for these things.

  2. Oh, undoubtedly this ad targets club managers and staff and not consumers.

    But that then suggests that managers and staff think this way. Which would explain the competitive pickle so many health clubs find themselves in. If these messages wouldn’t resonate with consumers (automotive-grade seats?!) but they do with managers, sounds like managers don’t get what’s actually important to their customers.

    As a manager, I’d be more convinced by comments from real exercisers than I would be by assertions from an equipment manufacturer.

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