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C-K Helps GNC Set New Goals

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CHICAGO GNC will target people who are barely three days into their New Year's resolutions with a $40 million yearlong "What's your goal?" campaign.

TV spots, from independent agency Cramer-Krasselt in Milwaukee, debut this week, positioning GNC as a destination for anyone interested in health and wellness, not just gym rats and the diet obsessed.

TV will run during news-oriented network and cable programming and in 20-25 publications including ESPN: The Magazine and Men's Health. Support includes 50 million pieces of direct mail, point-of-purchase and the Internet. "GNC. Live well" continues as the tag.

This will be the first time the leading specialty retailer of nutritional supplements is shining the spotlight on the GNC brand itself versus its products, according to Steven Nelson, vice president of marketing at the Pittsburgh-based chain.

"We had never created a call to action around the brand," he said. "It's about giving [consumers] reasons to come to GNC. The simplest way is to communicate health and wellness goals." Nelson said the question, "What's your goal?" will be on the lips of customer service reps at all 4,900 locations as well as within its marketing.

Television spots will illustrate people's goals as they are relaxing or exercising via floating animated text. The words "increase my energy" hover above a man jogging. A woman on a park bench wants "shinier hair" and to "climb a mountain."

GNC is also offering bimonthly promotions like its current "Total Lean Challenge," with $50,000 in cash and prizes to people who achieve their dieting objectives. An internal program challenges GNC employees to meet their own goals. "Nutrition in general is confusing for a lot of Americans," said Nelson. "We're trying to simplify it."