Client: Zumba Fitness (Miami, FL)
Agency: MWW (New York and East Rutherford, NJ)
Campaign: Zumba Nightclub Series fea-turing Lil Jon and Gina Grant
Duration: February-April 2013
Zumba Fitness and AOR MWW partnered with DJ and multi-platinum producer Lil Jon and renowned Zumba instructor Gina Grant on a tour of four cities to promote teaching Zumba in nightclubs, which opens new revenue streams for instructors and club owners.
"Our number one mission is to make instructors successful," explains Allison Robins, PR director for Zumba Fitness. "We noticed instructors had started teaching in nightclubs. Music is the heart of Zumba and nightclubs have amazing sound systems and plenty of room to dance. It was a seamless way of promoting the brand in a space where dancing and music are already very popular."
Joseph Cohen, SVP of consumer marketing at MWW, adds that it captured Zumba's party feel and emphasized that Zumba can be "enjoyed in virtually any venue."
Robins says the nightclub promotion provided a perfect opportunity to work with Lil Jon, who had contacted Zumba Fitness in 2012 after getting many social media comments from Zumba enthusiasts who loved his music.
The campaign was announced at a national instructor conference, February 15 to 17, ahead of Lil Jon's appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice in March.
Six events were hosted in Boston, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Queens, NY, between April 9 and 13. Lil Jon served as spokesperson, produced a song called "Work" for the tour, and deejayed at each event.
Cohen says that providing reporters detailed information and VIP treatment at the events helped capture the exhilarating nature of Zumba in a nightclub. Social media engagement also drove buzz.
Instructors were introduced to Lil Jon, the song, and new choreography at the conference. Grant and reporters covering fitness, lifestyle, and entertainment also attended.
A video created at the conference was posted to the Zumba Fitness website, Facebook, and YouTube to help drive event ticket sales. Prior to shows in each city, local and national traditional outlets were sent media kits that included Zumba apparel, accessories, and the song.
Select reporters in each market were invited to attend events. They rode to venues on a VIP party bus where they heard Zumba songs and interviewed instructors. On site, they got backstage access and opportunities to interview and photograph Lil Jon and Grant.
Posts, including videos, were made to the Zumba Fitness Facebook and Twitter pages during the events. Lil Jon, Grant, and other instructors worldwide promoted the events on their own social media channels.
All events sold out in less than two weeks (2,500 people attended in total).
Eighty earned placements in outlets such as Today, The Huffington Post, Billboard, OK!, BET, the Boston Herald, and Self generated more than 185 million impressions.
Nearly 88% of coverage included the term Nightclub Series and a link to the ticket purchasing site.
Robins says the campaign was one of the most successful Zumba has done in terms of earned media coverage. Reach across Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube exceeded 4.5 million.
The team is considering a similar campaign on the West Coast and possibly in Europe.
Zumba Fitness' Party in Pink, an annual global fundraising initiative in partnership with the Susan G. Komen Foundation that this year will benefit preventative research, launched August 1 and runs through October.
This campaign did a great job capitalizing on instructors' organic expansion into nightclubs and highlighting the synergy between Zumba, clubs, and Lil Jon's music. It was smart to wait for the right time to collaborate with Lil Jon, whose profile was raised from his appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice, and the nightclub promotion was a perfect fit. It was also wise to give media VIP treatment at the events as this helped generate buzz for the promotion. The campaign was also thoughtfully timed to maximize exposure.