The Deconstructed Brief

Be Free

 Be Free

Brand: Planet Fitness

Agency: Hill Holiday


  • Reposition Planet Fitness as the leader in the gym and personal fitness category
  • Articulate a clear, welcoming message in the peak gym membership season


"Nobody likes being judged, and that universal feeling led us to a clear positioning. From there, we just tried to have fun with it. We tried to exploit the tension in a funny way and the history of their tone encouraged us to use some cheek."


One Thought:

Nobody likes being judged.

Lessons to be learned:

  • Stay the Course - Hill Holiday, the creative agency, is new to Planet Fitness. Instead of turning the ship 180 degrees with their first execution for the brand, they opted to stay the course and strengthen Planet Fitness’ existing position – the judgement free zone – because it’s relevant. 
  • Relatability - Ultimately the situations presented in this campaign are intended to be relatable – albeit a bit hyperbolic. By dramatizing the judgement of everyday situations, Planet Fitness positions themselves as the hero consumers need.
  • Emojis - This ad introduces the emoji thumbs up as an evolution of Planet Fitness’ yellow logo thumbs up. The emoji fits Planet Fitness’ brand personality and communicates the “be free” message clearly, without trying too hard to appeal to young consumers.
  • Context - This ad places Planet Fitness is a broader social context. It doesn’t speak exclusively to the experience of being judged in the gym, it speaks to all the judgement people feel throughout their day. It reminds viewers that judgement sucks, but there is a place where they can feel comfortable to be free and avoid judgement.   

What they told Forbes:

“Now, with more than 1,200 locations system-wide, Planet Fitness is the leader in the increasingly competitive gym category. Given this preeminent positioning in the marketplace, we wanted to broaden the articulation of our Judgment-Free platform. The new work puts Judgment-Free in the context of society: the world, not just other gyms, can be a very intimidating and judgmental place, but Planet Fitness is a place you can go and be yourself and “be free” without fear of being judged.”