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It has been just over a year since Zoom Media started its new fitness regimen, with the media company adding significant muscle in the place-based media space.

Zoom swapped assets with its Montreal counterpart Newad last year, exchanging its resto-bar, campus, fashion, business, media and golf networks for the latter’s fitness establishments.

Chris Corvetti, vice-president of sales and marketing for Zoom in Toronto, said the company’s focus on a single audience had contributed to double-digit revenue growth since then.

“We’ve been very good at delivering one audience very effectively,” Corvetti told Marketing. “Our solution is really good, the network is very powerful, and it’s a great audience.”

Zoom boasts approximately 5,500 advertising faces – including roughly 2,700 digital screens – in 750 fitness establishments across the country; it has converted about 500 of the establishments in which it operates to digital screens only.

Corvetti said the company intended to keep expanding its digital inventory, as well as personal viewing screens on cardio equipment. It also plans to continue seeking out  “untapped opportunities,” such as group fitness classes.

He said the business provided advertisers with an opportunity to extend existing video assets, particularly as consumers don’t watch as much TV and skip over – or block – online ads. “We have a channel that’s un-skippable and unstoppable in an environment that’s relatively untapped,” he said.

He described Zoom’s primary target as the “active lifestyle” consumer: Adults 25-54 (approximately 55% female) with a post-secondary education and a household income of approximately $130,000. They visit a fitness club an average of three times a week, spending 88 minutes working out.

“It’s an audience that’s very difficult to connect with,” said Corvetti. “[We offer] a channel where there is a very clear connection to this consumer. They’re on the path to purchase, so putting a message in front of them at that point kind of makes sense.”

According to Nielsen data, about 87% of gym members spend time listening to or watching the ZoomFitness Video Network, which consists of music videos accompanied by a commercial pod every 15 minutes.

In addition to signage, Zoom is also experimenting with a mobile ad play that re-targets consumers after they leave the gym facility, pushing ads to their phones for up to three hours afterwards. It is also complementing its advertising play with sampling programs, with Corvetti saying an estimated 70% of its audience buys a product after sampling it on-site.

The network provides advertisers with an enormous opportunity to influence consumer behaviour, said Corvetti, pointing to research indicating 83% of fitness-club goers go shopping within two hours of a visit.

Among Zoom’s success stories this year is a campaign for FGL Sports (which includes the Sport Chek and Sports Experts banners) built around a series of 60-second commercials.

FGL’s senior vice-president of marketing and ecommerce, Frederick Lecoq, said the campaign produced a 6% sales lift for stores located adjacent to ZoomFitness venues compared to those that were not.

Meanwhile research into an April campaign by an undisclosed fitness tracker brand found 60% of all health club members recalled seeing its 30-second commercials, with 55% indicating they had a favourable opinion of the product – a 7% increase from a pre-campaign survey.

“It’s a combination of the dwell time, the sight, sound and motion and the immersion the consumer experiences within the environment,” said Corvetti.

Consumer packaged goods remains Zoom’s leading ad category, though it is also attracting interest from the financial services sector, automotive and teleco. Corvetti said advertisers had used its network to extend existing video creative or as a standalone media option.

“We’ve got a good variety of clients that see the value in this audience,” said Corvetti. “All categories are relevant, as long as they don’t compete with a good hard sweat.”


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