An impactful gym advertisement can skyrocket your membership sales. It can inspire people to join your facility and give your revenue a substantial boost. But designing an effective gym advert is both an art and a science.
Knowing how to combine the two can seem like a mystery if you don’t have a background in marketing. And even if you do, the ever-changing world of Facebook ads and digital magazines can still keep you guessing. So, we’ve put together this article on gym advertisement design for beginners. It’ll walk you through the essentials using practical examples along the way.
You’re probably bored of us banging on about objectives but it’s SO important to successful marketing… Defining your end-goal helps to ensure that your gym advertisement does what it’s meant to. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, launching a new group class, or generating sales leads, start by writing down the goal.
⇒ Learn more about marketing planning in this article on fitness marketing plans.
Layout – Anatomy of an Effective Gym Advertisement
An effective gym advertisement will usually include several core elements. Print adverts that feature in magazines and newspapers tend to have the most since they are a larger format. Whereas smaller digital adverts may just have a couple of the following…
- Headline – captures the attention of the audience and makes them want to read more.
- Subheader – summarises the core message or provides more context for the headline.
- Body copy – explains the key benefits in enough detail to be persuasive.
- Call to action – what should they do now? Sign up, visit, call, download etc.
- Contact details – or other info that’s needed to take the next step.
When planning your layout it’s also important to consider the context that it’ll be used in. For example, a gym advertisement on a billboard will be huge and have lots of space for all the above elements. However, billboards tend to be next to roads or train lines which means they’re often glimpsed at quickly. Although you have the space for lots of info, people won’t be able to absorb it all if they’re driving past. So, it’s important that this type of gym ad can be read quickly and easily.
How Your Gym Advert Should Flow
Anyone who’s studied marketing will be familiar with the ‘AIDA’ principle. It provides a framework for how adverts should flow and is short for:
Awareness ⇒ Interest ⇒ Desire ⇒ Action
By applying the AIDA principle to your gym advertisement, you can convert complete strangers into genuine leads in a matter of seconds. Here’s how it works…
- Awareness – catch their eye or get them to notice your ad
- Interest – get them to read or absorb the contents
- Desire – persuade them to want what you’re offering
- Action – get them to purchase, sign-up, or contact you
By missing out any of these elements, you’re reducing the effectiveness of your advert. If you don’t catch their eye and gain their awareness, then they won’t read the rest of your advert (no matter how good your sales copy is). If you forget to ask them to take action, then they may be convinced to purchase but not know how to go about it. Use this as a checklist when evaluating any gym advert you produce.
Gym Advertisement Examples
Let’s look at some gym advertisement examples to see how the above principles are applied in the real world…
This gym ad template incorporates most of the key elements discussed above. It has a clear headline, body copy, call to action (call us) and contact details. Colour blocks have been used to help distinguish each section and make it stand out from surrounding adverts.
This Anytime Fitness gym advertisement example has a clear headline, call to action (try 7 days free), and contact details. The central image is unexpected which is likely to catch people’s attention and make them look twice. The minimal amount of text (no sub-header or body copy) means that it’s easy to read at a glance.
This Equinox gym advertisement example takes a different approach. It features a clear headline, but no body copy or contact details. It’s designed to increase brand awareness rather than generate leads directly, so doesn’t include any superfluous info. If your brand is as well-known as Equinox then you can get away with it, but it probably wouldn’t be effective for smaller brands.
This Gold’s Gym advertisement example showcases another novel approach. It doesn’t feature a single element you’d expect on an advert – not even a headline. There’s no call to action or contact info. It’s another branding piece that Gold’s Gym is renowned for, but would need some tweaking to be suitable for general gym use.
Gym Advertisement Tips & Tricks
Over the last 10 years, we’ve worked on a LOT of gym adverts and fitness promotions. Along the way, we’ve also picked up a few tips and tricks that you might find useful…
#1 – Avoid using all capital letters
Capitals are harder to read than sentence case letters. This might sound counterintuitive since they’re bigger, but they’re harder to read at a glance. Because they’re all the same height it takes longer for our brains to distinguish between them. And when you only have a split second to catch someone’s attention, this delay can cause them to skip to the next shiny thing. Depending on the font you *might* get away with using it in a headline, but definitely not in your body text.
#2 – Don’t Go Straight For the Sale
Unless you have a well-known brand, don’t go straight for the sale. Drive the prospect to something of value, such as an educational blog post, free download, or complimentary pass. You need to establish trust before they’ll hand over they’re hard-earned cash.
#3 – Remember That Your Headline Had 2 Jobs
The first job of a good gym advertisement slogan or ‘headline’ is to catch people’s attention. Your audience might be walking past the ad on a billboard, flicking through a magazine, or scrolling through their newsfeed. An effective headline slogan will make your ad stand out from the noise of everything around it.
Its second job is to get them to read the next line of your advert. Catching someone’s attention generates brand awareness. But catching and holding their attention is what generates sales. So don’t just try to think up something catchy – it needs to be persuasive too.
#4 – Design With Purpose In Mind
It’s easy to get carried away with creative ideas and forget exactly what it is you’re trying to achieve. A graphic designer might produce some really awesome gym advertisement ideas, but if they don’t achieve your business objective then they’re a waste of time and money. So, as you work through mock-ups, reviews, and edits of your gym ad, always keep your goals in mind.
#5 – One Size Doesn’t Fit All
It can be tempting to come up with one gym ad and then use it everywhere. It seems like an efficient approach, right? The problem is, one design won’t be suitable for every purpose. Of course, the dimensions between a large gym advertisement banner and A4 poster will differ, but it’s more than that.
Like a billboard, a banner is read at a glance so needs to be simple and clear. But a gym advertisement poster on a noticeboard or magazine ad will probably be read up close, so can handle more text than a billboard or banner. You can definitely use the same messaging and design concept, but just tweak it for the environment that it’ll be used in.
⇒ Advertising online? Here’s a useful guide to ad sizes for
Gym Advertising – Summary
So, there you have our beginners guide to gym advertisement design. Start by defining your objective – this way your ad will be aligned with your business goals. Follow the anatomy guide and AIDA principle to create a persuasive gym advert that’ll stand out from the crowd. Use the examples for inspiration but don’t be afraid to try something new. By following this guide you can create an awesome gym advert that increases brand awareness, generates leads, and drives additional revenue.