Are you beach body ready?

July 15, 2015
Performance Comms

The Protein World Beach Body Ready saga finally drew to a close last month after the advertising watchdog cleared the supplement company from any wrongdoing. It’s a relief that sense has prevailed, given the advert didn’t actually ban anyone from going to the beach if they didn’t have abs of an Adonis.

Ultimately the infamous advert showing a bikini clad model asking if you’re Beach Body Ready wasn’t banning people with imperfect physiques from going to the beach, it was created to inspire and encourage a change in lifestyle. In reality, many people make changes to their diet and exercise regime anyway knowing that the beach season is approaching. No carbs before Marbs and all that!

One of the main problems for many is that they felt the advert would lead to anxiety due to the pressure of trying to emulate Australian model Renee Somerfield.  I understand the concerns surrounding body confidence issues; however how is this any different to any summer clothing advert with bikini-clad women or men advertising Calvin Kleins? And you don’t have to look beyond the front pages of most fitness/lifestyle magazines for similar examples that go unnoticed.

[quote align=”left” color=”#999999″]why let the facts get in the way of a good story?[/quote] Another issue the media failed to recognise during the maelstrom a couple of months ago was that the product isn’t some miracle weight loss product, it’s purely a whey protein concentrate, a very common nutrition supplement which can support lean muscle gain and weight loss with a balanced diet. Taking this on its own even as a meal replacement is not sufficient for significant and lasting changes, but why let the facts get in the way of a good story

[quote align=”right” color=”#999999″]£1 million in sales and national coverage most brands could only dream of[/quote] Remarkably, a couple of months ago most people had never heard of Protein World; and now, they’ve made over £1 million in sales, had national coverage most brands could only dream of and they’ve seen a dramatic rise in their follower numbers on social media.

The Protein World example does show that sports brands need to be careful when introducing campaigns to women. There’s a fine line between coming up with a clever and inspirational campaign and causing offence either by patronising or objectifying women.

So the question is how do brands connect well with women? We’ve seen with campaigns such as the #ThisGirlCan movement and increased coverage of women’s sport including the Women’s World Cup that women take fitness and sport very seriously.

So let’s hope brands take note and seek to educate, inspire and encourage. More women are getting involved in fitness and nutrition which is fantastic, but with this comes a great responsibility for brands. Get it wrong and it can cost you dearly, however, Protein World caused enough of a stir to keep the bandwagon rolling and dramatically increase their sales and brand recognition. Whether this was planned or blind luck is however a story for another day.


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