Ubaid Zargar

Gym centre baits fitness wannabes with 'cash'...

Imagine opening a newspaper and a flyer with a couple of Rs 2000 notes pops out. You'd be hooked, right? Well, that is the advertising strategy a fitness centre in Bengaluru adopted to catch readers' eyeballs.

In The Times of India's Sunday edition, Flexspot, a fitness centre, placed a flyer advertisement that hosted two thousand rupee notes. While the currency notes looked real enough to get the readers excited, a closer look revealed fine print that read 'specimen'. The flyer further illustrated a series of membership plans for gym enthusiasts, and with the timeliness of the campaign, it is perceivable that the ad targeted the 'new-year-resolution' brigade. But, we'll let the gym representatives reveal that.

As for gaining attention, the ad surely didn't fall short. Karthik Srinivasan, communications consultant, came across the ad and dedicated a post on Linkedin to the effort. “Remarkably clever way to get your attention through a newspaper insert”, Srinivasan says. “When I opened the newspaper this morning, I stumbled on a Rs 2,000 note! After the initial few seconds of surprise, I realised that it is not a real note. That led me to open the note and then I realised that someone has really thought through the tactic rather well,” his LinkedIn post reads.

While the newspaper insert does make a case for uniqueness, we got in touch with Flexspot to understand how the print advertisement was conceived. Rehan M, partner, Flexspot, says, “We were actually having lunch and we realised that there was a 10 rupee note lying on the floor. That caught our attention and we wondered if we could use this as a concept. We went with the two thousand rupee note because of its unique colour and appeal.”

About the purpose of the campaign, Rehan says,“We wanted to get the word out to the residents in our area. So, the easiest thing we could go with was a flyer, given that the pinpoint targeting required on online ads wouldn't serve our purpose.”

We wondered how much expenditure went into the advertisement. Rehan answers, “It was a very cheaply executed campaign. Including printing and distribution, we haven't spent more than three thousand rupees. It just proves the point that you don't necessarily need a large budget, or a dedicated team. A small business can always come up with something that has good recall.”

Commenting on the timeliness of the campaign, Rehan says, “We opted for the Sunday edition because most people who are traveling around New Year's eve, aim to act on their new year resolutions around this time.”

We asked if the notes implied any membership plans for the fitness outlet. Rehan clarifies, “It is merely executed as a catch. The currency notes are just to garner attention, and they do not represent any of our membership plans.” Pointing out the target group, Rehan adds, “Our target group was essentially people above 30, living in select housing societies.”