New Year's Eve with Planet Fitness Planet Fitness NYE Shorty

See What Went Down

Setting the Stage

As Planet Fitness entered its third year of partnership with Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, one goal loomed above everything we were working against: driving the single biggest month of club joins in the company's 25-year history. To meet this challenge – and to dominate the most critical time of year for the fitness industry – we created a completely immersive New Year's experience, including a 90-second on-air ABC integration and a fully-branded takeover of Times Square, with custom Planet Fitness hats, balloons, confetti, and the iconic Planet Fitness stage. We also negotiated talent rights to give the big night a little celebrity punch and topped it all off with the launch of our new brand campaign which culminated with a 60-second New Year's Countdown spot that ran moments before midnight.

The Super Bowl for Fitness Brands

New Year's Eve marks the start of the biggest sales period of the year for health and fitness brands. With health and wellness resolutions top-of-mind for many consumers during this period, we knew we had one shot to make a major impact.

With so much going on during New Year's Eve, it was imperative that we stayed close to our strategic approach. To keep us driving towards our goals we focused on four main areas:

1. Partner and Talent Content

As the presenting sponsor of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, Planet Fitness was given exclusive access to a host of celebrity talent that we could partner with to amplify our content and validate our message. To do this, we co-created content and tapped into the extended reach of the social properties of our partners, including Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, the Times Square Alliance, and celebrities like DJ Khaled, Gaten Matarazzo, and Jenny McCarthy.


Total Social Fans


Social Engagements

2. Second-Screen Integration with Live Broadcast

As part of the live broadcast on ABC, Planet Fitness distributed its first-ever "Be Free" Awards to celebrate those who rose above judgement in 2016. Our first awards went to DJ Khaled and Gaten Matarazzo from Stranger Things, both of whom embodied the Be Free spirit of our new campaign. In addition to awarding giant, gold Thumbs-Up trophies live on-screen, we extended the moment onto digital by whitelisting the celebrity accounts and promoting their posts in real-time to a targeted audience that was currently watching the live broadcast.



We'll be awarding 2016's biggest names in a 👍 way on @NYRE! Tune in to see who wins the first-ever Be Free Award.



Thank You for the Be Free Award on @NYRE! @PlanetFitness it's a great reminder to be the 👍🏻version of you!…



Be Free alert! They don't want you to live Judgement Free. So we going to do it some more! Thank you @PlanetFitness



Congrats to @DJKhaled & @GatenM123 for winning the first-ever Be Free Awards from @PlanetFitness. #RockinEve



Congratulations to @djkhaled on the first-ever Be Free Award @NYRE! Don't let them stop your 👍 life in 2017. Becaus…



Let the 👍 times roll in 2017! I had a great time accepting the Be Free Award from @PlanetFitness & @NYRE last night…



It's big! It's gold! It's the Be Free Award! Tune in to @NYRE as @PlanetFitness and I present the first-ever Be Fre…

3. Exclusive Content

For those ringing in the New Year from across the country and around the world, we shared and promoted exclusive behind-the-scenes content from Times Square into the early hours of 2017 so everyone could feel like they were part of our Planet Fitness party. We deployed a team of creatives and digital strategists to capture content on-the-ground in New York while a strategy and media team amplified the best content in real-time throughout the day and night.

4. Lead-Specific Digital Tactics

Our real-time marketing efforts and live event activation went off without a hitch, but if it didn't motivate people to join Planet Fitness, none of our other successes would have mattered. To ensure we reached our joins goal, we launched programmatic advertising, paid search, and lead-generation Facebook ads in the days leading up to December 31st to drive users directly to sign up for a membership. As the new brand look and feel launched in the final hours of 2016, we updated digital creative assets across social properties as the clock struck midnight and pulled the trigger on an aggressive paid social campaign. These tactics drove us to reach more than 30% web joins, greatly exceeding previous benchmarks.

Finish With a Bang

The results of the Planet Fitness New Year's Eve integration are hard to ignore. In an independent study conducted by Directive Analytics, "social media ad awareness was significantly higher than NYE 2015 and 2016. Instagram awareness, in particular, increased over previous years." The New Year's Eve event itself also drove significant social sharing, with Nielsen reporting that the show generated 3.8 million social media interactions across Facebook and Twitter alone on December 31st, making it the #1 most social TV event on that date. In addition to stellar TV ratings and major buzz from the press, our New Year's partnership drove the most successful period of joins in the company's history, ultimately making Planet Fitness the biggest winner during the industry's biggest month.


More new joins year-over-year


Increase in one-day sales record


Most searched gym on Google