After surveying consumers on what it means for them, the brand came to the concept of the “Hydrow high”—feeling like a clearer, better version of yourself. “It’s almost as if our community has taken it and run with it, and given it more life,” said Saegh-Fleming. The brand’s work with comedian Kevin Hart, who joined the team as Hydrow’s creative director in 2020, also helps bring “realness” to the brand, said Saegh-Fleming because the actor is not the typical tall overwhelmingly buff athlete. The approach is meant to position rowing as a habit-forming endeavor, said Saegh-Fleming. “If you keep people engaged and having fun while working out, they’re going to continue with the habit,” she said.
Read more about the “Hydrow high” campaign featuring Kevin Hart
Online connections are still important, despite the return to real-life
Brands are still relying on online communities to get a feel for their consumers: Saegh-Fleming noted that Hydrow’s users are able to connect online, and WW’s Gustafson said that the platform’s online community within the app allows the brand to understand how its consumers are feeling and thinking.
When it comes to mental health, Talkspace also includes a texting feature that aims to appeal to younger generations, as well as to help people who might need immediate help outside business hours. While still using traditional media, The 3rd Eye, a creative agency that focuses on health and wellness, has established a presence on YouTube with videos about loneliness as well as Facebook exercise classes. This helps reach members of the boomer generation who have found themselves increasingly on these platforms, said the agency’s Chief Vision Officer and CEO Diana Brooks, partly for DIY help when outside companies couldn’t come to their homes during COVID as well as to help with loneliness. “We really saw an explosion” in the use of these platforms, said Brooks.
To increase engagement, Spotify has also partnered with food brands such as Barilla pasta to create playlists that last the length of time it takes to cook pasta. This stemmed from understanding how the pandemic widened the meaning of “wellness” to extend beyond fitness and into other areas such as mindfulness, said Spotify’s Director of Client Partnerships for CPG and Spirits Bryan Rotunno.