Access the full paper below; also see Publications.
"There have been some significant changes across all sectors, none more so than Health, Wellbeing and Fitness. Whilst physical gym brands have experienced considerable revenue loss and reduced capacity, other areas of the sector have seen unprecedented levels of demand. The one thing that’s common is the rapid rate in which consumers are changing their behaviour. This white paper helps to understand these behaviours and offers brands new ways to navigate the changing landscape." - Aaron Wells, Marketing Director, Big Cat Agency
The white paper built on a previous study Identifying the behavioural habits of gym-goers to inform an emotional ‘hook’ campaign for boutique gym classes that analysed the attitudes and behaviours of 68 gym-goers and the impact the gym has on their lifestyle (i.e. diet, sleep, and spending), both before and during the national lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In further research, linguistic and thematic analysis was used to examine the responses of 143 participants and five in-depth interviews (conducted by Big Cat Agency) to establish whether attitudes and behaviours had changed during lockdown and in a post-lockdown society. The white paper brings together the two primary studies and considers secondary research to contextualise these primary findings. Big Cat followed this with interviews with a number of well-known industry players about how they have adapted their businesses through the pandemic.
The research revealed that exercise is still an important part of people’s lives. Yet, lockdown has had a considerable impact on people’s lifestyles with regards to their exercise, eating, and sleeping habits. While the experience of lockdown has encouraged some people to improve their diet and spend more time cooking healthy homemade meals, for others it has blurred and broken down the boundaries of the working-living day, resulting in increased snacking and drinking, an increase in anxiety, and a poorer quality of sleep than before lockdown. People’s motivation for returning to the gym after lockdown was more focused on helping them restore their physical health. Despite being aware of the impact of exercise on their mental health during lockdown, few participants were motivated by their need to improve their mental health to return to the gym.
The research concludes in 6 take-aways for health and fitness brands, moving forward:
During June 2020, Big Cat Agency has partnered with ActionPact to host a series of panel discussions featuring expert guest speakers from across the health, fitness, and wellbeing sectors. I reported on three of the first four webinars concerning training, and health and nutrition. Access them via Creative Brief or download the reports below.
Update: You can download the full report below. Also see Publications.
the impact the gym has on their lifestyle (i.e. diet, sleep, and spending), and their preferences for types of training formats and fitness classes.
I used a thematic analysis approach to identify the common concepts, thoughts, and opinions gym-goers had in response to the questions posed. From this analysis, I was able to draw key behavioural practices and emotional reactions to attending the gym and fitness classes.
The Eff Test is a qualification that involves specialist training to understand and measure advertising and marketing effectiveness followed by an examination to test the knowledge and skills obtained. Designed by expert advertising professionals, the certificate is granted by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) incorporated by the Royal Charter. I passed the exam, which awarded me with a completion certificate and a qualification for measuring advertising effectiveness.
Achieving the qualification is evidence that I have the knowledge and skills to:
Read more information about The Eff Test Certificate here.
With my recent work on the EMMA project and starting my PhD, there is a lot of new research to talk about! And Summer 2020 is going to be the time to gain some crucial feedback on my work so far. This Summer, I will be presenting at several international conferences in Bulgaria, Norway, and Spain, and in the UK. I will also be returning to assist in the running of the 3rd Statistics for Linguists Summer School at the University of Birmingham.
from text to sound to imagery to movement. It can also involve the consumer in very different ways than what it used to (think back to when we would have to read advertising).
Advertisers are becoming increasingly aware that their audience are critical of their craft. In recent years, advertising has shifted from selling a product to selling an experience. It is moving toward, or has already reached, integrating advertising a product, service, or experience with a story or activity that involves the consumers themselves. Research has shown that figurative language including metaphor and metonymy is frequently used in print advertising (Forceville, 1996; Perez-Sobrino, 2017; Littlemore and Perez-Sobrino, 2017).
The new ways in which advertising is reaching its audience must also be explored in order for academia to keep pace with the changing world. As such, Jeannette Littlemore, Paual Perez-Sobrino, and myself - Samantha Ford - have come together to write a collaborative monograph on the role of figurative communication in advertising in the modern world. With the book, we hope to draw together key insights into how academics and advertisers alike may work together (as in the EMMA project) to improve the way in which advertising may be used for the better; to raise awareness of important issues and highlight essential services that will improve our lives, and not just to sell products.
For more information, visit the EMMA website.
Watch this video to find out how I worked with Jeannette Littlemore, Paula Perez-Sobrino, and David Houghton, and Big Cat Advertising Agency to effectively implement metaphor into a campaign that talked about sexual health. For more information about the campaign and the EMMA project, click here.
examined whether participant responses varied according to: (a) participant age, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity, and (b) the figurative nature of twelve campaign adverts, in order to establish which figurative factors shape the extent to which consumers report that they find the adverts funny, appealing, and say they would engage with the campaign’s call to action (i.e. to order an STI kit) or its presence on social media. The figurative nature of the adverts varied three-way: (1) the level of conceptual work required to decode the adverts’ meaning; (2) the progression of the sexual conquest narrative (i.e. where in the progression of the sexual act from dating to sexual intercourse was referred to via metaphor); (3) the level of creativity (conventional to novel) in the adverts.
To read the full article, click here.
During my MA, I worked as a Research Associate on the EMMA project, collaborating with the Big Cat Agency. This role has inspired my PhD as a Collaborative Doctoral Award for which I received from the Midlands4Cities Arts and Humanities Research Council (M4C AHRC). My thesis will involve working with Big Cat Agency on a collaborative PhD entitled: The creativity of figurative messaging in advertising: a collaborative investigation into its application and measurement of success in real-world advertising campaigns.