The Adelaide Aquatic Centre Health Club was experiencing a business problem common to many gyms: members were joining up and training for a fews days, weeks or months and then simply disappearing. These members would then perhaps realise they are not getting any value out of their membership and finally cancel their memberships shortly after. The marketing solution was to combat this problem by sending out a friendly reminder to members who hadn’t attended the gym for one month.
Our goal was to make the communication light-hearted, even humorous if possible, so it didn’t feel like members were being ‘reprimanded for not attending’—like a school teacher giving a student detention for skipping class.
In order to achieve this we experimented with a few ideas, before settling on the ‘Something’s missing’ concept, which we felt had layers of meaning we could explore for a visual solution to our communication.
We took our camera in to the gym one quiet morning and began to look for the ‘something’s missing’ concept through the lens: a missing dumbbell from the rack, a missing barbell from the bench and other objects that were not where they’re meant to be.
When we realised the idea was really about ‘missing people’ rather than missing objects, we felt we were getting closer. How could we communicate the idea of a missing person visually? We began experimenting with items of clothing and all the bells started ringing when we borrowed a pair of sneakers off the local Personal Trainer and placed them on the treadmill … without their owner!
The final image is slightly abstract, but we were sure we used members would recognise the location from obviously having already visited the health club (at least once before!). The final image was placed on postcard and was mailed out to the missing persons.
A personalised (hand-written) message on the back explained that the ‘missing’ person was being ‘missed’ by the health club, and invited them to return.