Don’t let your Beach Body transformation programme cause offence and attract the wrong attention...
“Are you beach body ready?”
We all remember that infamous body transformation ad, set against the impossible to ignore yellow background.
OK, it was only for a protein powder (not for a transformation plan). But it sparked a wider debate about the ethics of advertising “beach body transformation” products and services.
With European Beach Holidays back on the agenda ~ are you rolling out your own Summer-body training and diet plan this year?
Tread carefully, if you are.
Here’s how to navigate the ethics, so you get your services out to market without attracting the wrong kind of attention.
THE PROBLEM WITH BEACH BODY PLANS
Beach Body-type transformation programmes have come under fire in recent years, sparking complains about fat/shaming, unrealistic body expectations, and even false advertising.
With that in mind, how can you create and market your own “beach body” type Summer transformation challenges without putting people off (or inviting unfair criticism)? This post will help you attract people to your beach body programmes - the right way.
HOW TO NAVIGATE BODY POLITICS
Going back to that infamous “Beach body ready” advert, it wasn’t actually the problematic claims that ruffled feathers.
It was the general sense of judgement and body shaming mixed with unrealistic perfectionism.
The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) received complaints, but a much higher number came form a change.org petition - showing the strength of people - power when marketing touches on body image.
At the time, the ASA said, “The complaints generally found that the ad is offensive, irresponsible and harmful because it promotes an unhealthy body image... we’ve launched an investigation to establish if it breaks harm and offence rules or is socially irresponsible. We will... explore the complaints that have prompted concerns around body confidence.”
A NEW SOCIETAL NORM
Now let’s be clear. Your Summer-body training and diet plans are unlikely to ever reach such a wide audience (sorry!).
But it’s a wise move to consider social responsibility and “body confidence” when marketing anything to do with a “beach body”.
Social movements (and their accompanying hashtags), social media, blogs, and comment threads mean that people’s complains can go viral within minutes. Don’t let your well-intentioned plan leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth.
IS IT OK TO MARKET “BEACH BODY” PT PROGRAMMES?
Yes. Well, we think so anyway - and you probably do too. After all, your “beach body” programme is similar to any other training plan or diet service. This one is just helping people look and feel better for Summer clothes, bikinis, and beach wear. You are trying to help people look and feel better, be healthier, and live with more confidence. There’s nothing wrong with that.
ETHICAL MARKETING FOR SUMMER BODY PROGRAMMES
The challenge lies in how you market your summertime transformation programmes.
UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMER
Knowing your customer is marketing 101, and it’s even more important here. Know what they’re struggling with, and what they want. But also know what causes offence, what they will (and won’t) tolerate, and what crosses the line for them
But think about everyone else, too. If you want to avoid controversy and backlash, you need to make sure your marketing doesn’t offend anyone - even the people who will never buy from you. Sure, losing their support won’t impact your income. But it could go viral. Word of mouth is powerful and works both ways.
HAVE AN ETHICAL PHILOSOPHY
Make sure your entire business is built on ethics, values, and strong principles. These will differ slightly from PT to PT. But certain values are integral to building trust in the fitness industry: honesty, transparency, approachability, and being non-judgemental. Build trust first, and your summer body plan will launch more smoothly.
Put your personality into it. Once you’ve covered the technical aspects of advert using (especially on Facebook), you need to consider the tone of your content. Make sure your personality and humanity comes through strongly. Unless you’re offensive and ethically dubious - which we doubt - this will help create trust.
DON’T BE AN A/HOLE
If you’re a decent person, marketing a decent plan, it will be difficult to screw up the marketing side of things. Being nice is a very good place to start from.
9 QUICK MUST DO MARKETING TIPS FOR ETHICAL SUCCESS
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