New Year, Same Active You

We’re all familiar with the phrase ‘New Year, New You’ and now, a month into 2018, I’m sure there are a number of people out there for who that is still resonating and others who hit the ground running for the first week of January but are already falling off the proverbial wagon.
Each year, the first week of January is awash with brands looking to take advantage of the collective wave of health and fitness optimism.  From fitness clubs to food and drink suppliers to participation events; where there’s a sniff of jumping on the band wagon then everyone is looking to maximize the business opportunity. 
And why are they doing this? Because ultimately it works, in the short term at least. A popular US high street gym with over 700 sites, have reported seeing a 40% increase in web traffic through the months of December and January.
If the same marketing push took place 4 weeks later then much of the early year impetus is lost and brands know that the audience they are talking to is not necessarily the new, fresh faced version that they could have caught previously.
Despite clearly seeing the marketing and business rationale behind this, a part of me can’t help but feel that the ‘New Year, New You’ phenomenon is perhaps a little depressing. In terms of the Active World, it can create very short term thinking towards the space.  Many of our clients here at Limelight Sports are looking to create long lasting and quality connections with their audiences.  A couple of weeks at the start of the year tailing off without longer term engagement just doesn’t really cut the mustard.
So, whilst capitalising on the early year fitness and enthusiasm is certainly something that many of our campaigns do, Swimathon and the Royal Parks Half Marathon to name but two, this means nothing without the engaging journey that follows.  We know that events can lead to increased participation, for example the inaugural Open Water Swimathon campaign demonstrated a 40% increase in 3 times per week participation in swimming. This, alongside a regularly engaged and content strong community, is a prime opportunity for brands to take advantage of sustained engagement over a 365 day period. 
The end goal?  Wouldn’t it be great if people stopped shouting about ‘New Year New You’ and instead we focused on ‘New Year, Same Active You’.
Ian Hayne // Account Director