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Planet Fitness taps into second-screen social activity with Biggest Supporter sweepstakes

With Planet Fitness's Twitter activity almost doubling during the broadcast of NBC's The Biggest Loser, the health club franchise is supporting its mobile and social strategy with a new contest that extends onto Instagram. 

The "Biggest Supporter" campaign invites consumers to share messages of support for their favorite contestant via Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #PFBiggestSupporter. They will then be entered to win prizes, including a trip to the season finale of The Biggest Loser in Los Angeles on Feb. 4.

?Our strategy behind #PFBiggestSupporter was really to engage our community surrounding the show,? said Michael O?Brien, director of brand management at Planet Fitness, Newington, NH. ?We have a very passionate base, many who are influenced in their own way.

"It?s an opportunity for them to extend their support more so than just watching the TV show," he said. "It?s really a great opportunity to get behind a particular contestant and continue to show their support across a number of platforms, primarily Instagram and Twitter.?

The Biggest Supporter
The goal of the campaign is to show ?one ton? of support for The Biggest Loser Contestants. Each hashtag shared counts as one pound towards this goal.

The contest is leveraging the multiple meanings of the hashtag symbol, which is also a pound sign.

To track the success of the campaign, consumers can visit the mobile-optimized microsite to see a real-time ?Pound-O-Meter.? At the time this article was written, the campaign had accumulated 419 hashtags, or pounds.

The microsite also contains running Twitter and Instagram feeds of users that posted #PFBiggestSupporter.

The campaign is running through Jan. 24.

Consumers that post the hashtag on Twitter or Instagram will be entered for a chance to win a few different prizes. Four grand prize winners will receive tickets to The Biggest Loser season finale for themselves and a guest, round-trip airfare to Los Angeles, accommodations at The Mondrian Los Angeles and a Hollywood Tour.

Twenty-five other consumers will receive a ?Pound of Support Pack,? which includes a Planet Fitness T-shirt, a free three-month membership to Planet Fitness and other prizes.

Planet Fitness saw success with this campaign last year and decided to do it again, this time adding in Instagram to keep up with the changing social scene.

?We?re just emerging as a brand on the Instagram platform on a national level,? Mr. O?Brien said. ?We feel like it?s a great base to act quickly and represent your passionate feelings and thoughts for this type of an initiative.

?It?s a platform that also caters to a younger audience and is used primarily on mobile, so it?s just another extension of the social media world that we felt was very relevant,? he said. ?This initiative has helped us emerge into the Instagram world.?

Second screen
This Planet Fitness sweepstakes is interesting for its take on second screen capabilities. Consumers are increasingly accessing social media via smartphones while watching TV, and brands are trying to tap into this culture for marketing opportunities.

While a consumer is watching The Biggest Loser, they will see live tweets from Planet Fitness encouraging them to join in the conversation on Twitter and Instagram. Viewers can then grab their smartphone out of their pocket and engage on social media while watching the show.

A number of other brands such as Visa, Coca-Cola and Dunkin? Donuts have also been experimenting with second-screen campaigns to bolster engagement with viewers plugged into mobile devices while simultaneously watching TV (see story).

Planet Fitness is wise to take a stab at this trend in order to engage Biggest Losers viewers in a deeper way that increases brand awareness for the gym franchise.

?In terms of the second screen capabilities we also refer to it as dual screen viewing or multiscreen opportunities,? Mr. O?Brien said. ?It?s absolutely another element of the program that?s totally factored into what we do.

?We?re live tweeting during the telecast, and we see our Twitter following almost double during the time frame because people are interacting and responding with our team that?s driving the conversation, showing support in different ways,? he said. ?It?s a great opportunity for everything to come together during the times that the show is actually airing on television.?

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York