I Hate Gym... But I Love Curves Campaign

It’s easy to throw Curves into the same pool as Planet Fitness and Virgin Active when looking at them as gyms of equal nature, however, this is not the case. Curves (unlike the gyms previously mentioned) is a WOMEN ONLY club that not only offers functional training but also supportive coaching and tailored meal plans. We need to differentiate Curves by disrupting the status quo through the contrast of two powerful emotions: Love and Hate.


  • Significant sales/financial pressure.
  • The fitness space has exploded with competition in recent years and Curves found itself struggling to get a message out that received the necessary attention. Yet at its core, the Curves product and customer experience are still incredibly relevant in today’s market, it had just been spoken about as a ‘gym’ for far too long. The client wanted to change this perception and we had been working with them for a few years on refining their positioning, yet the current circumstances meant they were far more willing to make a brave change.
  • Curves, unlike most mainstream gym brands, is a franchise model, hence getting club participation with nationally run campaigns was critical. It had proved challenging in the past but the groundwork had been laid by us and head office working on the club owner’s understanding the positioning with more clarity.


  • Position Curves as something completely set apart from more mainstream ‘Gym’ offerings.
  • Improve Club participation in National Campaigns.
  • Boost sales in winter which is not traditionally a good time to sell fitness.

The Plan

Due to budget constraints, we couldn’t rely on more traditional media to create awareness across all regions.

So we focused on a dual plan of:

  • Empowering clubs to do their own activation, consulting directly with representative owners during the campaign conceptualisation, followed by an explanatory webinar. Each club was provided with a set of A1 correx boards as well as t-shirts. Further collateral was made available via the Brand Centre.
  • Pushes were supported by a national digital marketing campaign with a 7-day free trial download as the call to action.

The Result

Sales numbers over the period:

  • July/August 701
  • October 509
  • January 675
  • TOTAL: 1885

Estimated Sales Value: R8,294mil

Estimate campaign ROI: 10x

In terms of positioning, feedback on the ground was that the campaign branding become a significant conversation starter and an increase in quality leads was the result.

Club participation in the campaign was the best ever seen according to Curves Head Office. This is evident by what the club owner’s shared on their internal Facebook group.

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