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UP influences exponential growth for the Nautilus Bowflex brand: driving the organization to rediscover its roots in reinventing the world of home fitness. 

The business of being Bowflex 

As Nautilus brand agency of record, we stepped into our relationship with the organization at a time of significant inter-organizational upheaval and a company in contracture in spite of an expanding market ceiling in the health and fitness category.

Our engagement first sought to understand the opportunities and deficiencies within the health and fitness category as a whole, because the more important than understanding what was inhibiting growth for the brand, was retooling it to disrupt the category as a whole and carve out a far larger chunk of the available market and easily defend it from competitive interests.

The ensuing gap analysis we conducted of the health and fitness landscape revealed precisely the points of disruption the Nautilus Bowflex brand could effect and pointed directly at the central brand vision the organization should coalesce around.

The competitive conventions within the vertical included: no long range focus on

sustained success, an outmoded idea that fitness was only either strength or cardio, there was no balance between aspiration and attainability — in short most brands were hyper-aspirational, there was an inordinate focus on building personalities rather than on building brands, brand relationships, if they did exist at all began and ended with the sale, and lastly the category was only interesting in near term buyers — relationship marketing and consideration phase or future market cultivation was almost nonexistent.

Secondarily to this we found the category to be highly polarized and fragmented, with high rates of attrition across most brands.

The response to these conventions (areas in which the Bowflex brand could disrupt and a factor that shaped much of the practical reposition and strategic response of the brand included: owning the polarization vacuum between product or program focus amongst competitors, creating a new holistic, balanced definition of the accepted fitness disciplines, allow audiences to participate in defining

realistic motivators and goals driving brand dialogue and engagement, initiate a fit cultural revolution based on (Life Fit Success) centered solutions rooted in aspirationally attainable goals, define programs and products that enable brand interaction,  honor and recognize engagement and brand participation, and lastly strive to develop advocacy and awareness with future audiences.

The practical outcome of this effort resulting in a reinvigoration of the Bowflex brand and activation of the health and fitness market unlike anything the brand had seen since its launch in the 1980s.


Nautilus doubled revenue surrounding its Bowflex product lines within 24 months of the relaunch of the brand and tripled revenue within 36 months, growing from a 98 million dollar company to a 406 million dollar company and surpassing its nearest market competitor Beach Body.

A polarized, fragmented and over-saturated fitness market landscape has left consumers with a distorted, confusing and imbalanced fitness offering. This paradigm has created a brand vacuum Bowflex can occupy. We call it “Life/Fit Success”

We articulated Life/Fit Success as an enabling, supportive, honest perspective of the human state and a recognition that every human being possesses a deep desire to achieve and sustain a highly personal, lifelong state of wellbeing. We further noted most competitive brands were only selling short term results. In reality the industry as a whole is set up to profit from people’s failure, not their long term success.

market polarization, market fragmentaton
life / fit success


The world of Home Fitness is fatefully fragmented, full of fraudulent claims and littered with the corpses of endless empty promises. Each brand trying to beat the same drum louder than the next, all the while expecting to produce a melody from within the din. Home Fitness has become an industry of fad and flamboyance designed to profit off of peoples failure rather than lifetime achievement. Therein we saw an overwhelming opportunity to own something bigger, better than the sale, an ongoing relationship, one that would propel a fitness revolution. Not one demanding audiences march to a different beat of the same old drum, but as singers in a grand new opera. One in which they can partake in playing out their own masterpiece. An ongoing work we call Life/Fit Success. So world, we give home fitness back to you, to cheer you on, to support your every need, to share in your story, and your glory, to inspire and applaud your continual success—

be fit for life.


One of the leading goals of the brand to reactivate audiences was to drive brand dialogue, in every way that was reasonably possible and to being proactively living up to the new model of producing value ahead of the sale well into the consideration phase.


One such programmatic component developed to pay off the new brand directive included activating the consumer to drive organic reach via a dialogue enabling platform.


Bowflex Selecttech digital work out trading cards were developed as a currency for brand engagement, driving user interaction, building a community and enabling cross-sell and up-sell opportunity over a new value added platform.


Card trading generated additional discount promo codes for Bowflex Selecttech while creating trackable conversion medium from pre-consideration phase audience through product purchase.


An experience that is about life and living it to the fullest. And life isn’t about a routine, a workout or some means to an end. Life is rather an assembly of experiences, knit together by those we share them with. It’s our ongoing goal at Bowflex to propel those

experiences to a new height. To celebrate fitness as a get to, not a got to. The aim of the brand campaign was therefore designed to shift the focus off the boring, harshness of the work out to the liberating enjoyment of living an active life and having a healthy physique.

This led to a key message aimed at inviting audiences to participate in defining the brand — redefining fitness. Not as a new set of routines or tasks but as a way of life. Not as moments of work in exchange for benefits, but as benefits at work in every moment.



The pay off to the Bowflex tag line "be fit for life," culminated in a dual value proposition. BE FIT FOR LIFE — the value of being fit throughout your lifespan. BE FIT FOR LIFE — the value of possessing the capacity to enjoy an active lifestyle. The objective of the campaign was to demonstrate how every day decisions contribute to life fit success and wellbeing, empowered and augmented by Bowflex.



Engagement everywhere was a central objective of the FITNESS IS campaign, on line and in the real world. One of many ways we accomplished this was to provoke target audiences to engage in calorie burning activities while engaging with the Bowflex brand.


One such example is seen here in the surface disruption of the projected campaign message,


on the Bally's Las Vegas pool at night. The projection was clearly visible from the rooms facing the hotel pool and resulted in more than a few late night dips.

Other surface disruptions were designed to drive immersive, projected user feeds. Passers by could snap the qr code which took them to a landing page where they could respond to what fitness is to them and then watch it post to the projected feed in real time.




was a low cost guerrilla strategy for further brand interaction and activity, while driving engagement online to convert offers.



Branded social experiment: Placed Treadclimber statics directing traffic up down escalators. Engagement recorded and posted to social media.



The power driving this idea was embodied in allowing the audience to fill in the blank, taking shape in the FITNESS IS ______________ campaign.


Bowflex centeral brand idea of facilitating Life Fit Success informed the foundation of the launch campaign, FITNESS IS... in which the audience became an activer participant in defining the fitness category, interacting both digitally and physically demonstrating the very meaning of being fit for life.


This personal ownership drove widespread organic reach through influencer marketing.


The FIT TO BE AS HERO \ GoPro joint initiative was rooted in the uniting brand value of creating a positive state of being and the self empowerment therein derived from them: Be a HERO / Be fit for life. Through this parallel engagement we were able to empower audiences with an outlet to express this state of being in a context that delivered on how both brands empowered them to be fire for life. The platform additionally created a powerful vehicle for producing user generated content and drove an enormous level of organic reach.

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