Orange Bicycles Scattered Throughout San Diego

Orangetheory Fitness created a guerrilla campaign to market its gym opening on Girard. They scattered 30 orange bicycles around La Jolla. It was inevitable for people to notice it. It’s orange. Outside of the fruit and the sky, hardly anything can get away with orange without looking like, well… a fruit.

If it was attention Orangetheory Fitness wanted, they got it. The questions is whether or not they got the right kind of attention and if it was attention that drove people to their brand.

The Point of Guerrilla Campaign

It’s called a guerrilla campaign because it is supposed to disturb the norm. It is supposed to stand out from the crowd. It is supposed to be different from the environment. The orange bikes achieved all those. After all, it is orange. It’s a given.

However, a guerrilla campaign is also supposed to engage the public. It is supposed to draw them in. It is supposed to lead them to a relationship with your brand. The orange provided a mystery but they failed to capitalize on the curiosity.

Attention Is Only The First Step

The orange bike was a great hook but they should have followed through. The one thing Orangetheory Fitness failed to recognize is people’s short attention span and lack of patience. People are not going to research for answers, not when it comes to bikes at least. They saw it, wondered what it was about, didn’t know and proceeded with their life.

Orangetheory Fitness should have allowed people to interact with the bike. Instead of being a “sculpture”, they should have made it an interactive device that will allow people to discover the fun in doing fitness activities. They should have allowed people to do something fun or funny or both. They should have used the bikes as a door to their brand.

Orangetheory Fitness has, in fact, a very good unique selling proposition. Users rotate between treadmills, rowing machines, TRX suspension training and free weights—all while wearing a heart rate monitor to ensure an optimum workout. It makes the training more personal. Since everyone’s body is different and responds to different training tools differently, the gym is able to adjust according to what will be most effective to one’s body.

That USP got lost in the orange bike.


There are several takeaways:

  1. In all fairness to Orangetheory Fitness, they were able to launch a simple teaser with minimal budget using their own brand name.
  2. Marketers should remember that an effective marketing campaign doesn’t end with the teaser. If you are going to tease the public, make sure you follow through.
  3. Don’t forget what you are trying to sell.


Written by Xath Cruz

Xath Cruz worked for the traditional advertising industry for more than 10 years handling international blue chip clients. She started doing digital advertising and marketing and web property development 4 years ago. She is also a screenplay writer with several full length movies under her belt.

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