Work(out) For It

Brands offer free gear in exchange for exercising

Today’s youth look to brands of all categories to engage in the wellness space, helping them be healthy amidst their busy lives. This desire has inspired a rise in interactive advertisements that challenge people to work out, as well as temporary spaces to facilitate their efforts. Now, brands are further incentivizing exercise by offering rewards for getting physical.


This past fall, The North Face opened a pop-up in Korea where visitors were given free jackets if they ziplined outside the store. Upon arrival, people were encouraged to try on the McMurdo Air coat and told it could be theirs at no cost. Those who expressed interest were brought to the edge of the store, where they were surprised by staffers who set them up on a zipline traveling 200 meters over a bridge and past signs advertising the jacket. The landing pad served as a checkout where participants were congratulated and given the coat as a reward for being adventurous.


To motivate runners, exercise tracking app Strava hosted the Strava Back Half Challenge, which made let people obtain a free pair of New Balance sneakers if they ran the second half of a marathon faster than the first half. Known as a negative split, this method is typically the way that people win marathons, break course records, or even obtain their best times. Those who participated in a marathon between October 9th and December 4th were encouraged to upload their race details and fill out a form; if they qualified, they received a code to buy a pair of shoes.


Reebok set up outdoor displays in Stockholm streets earlier this year challenging passersby to run past ads faster than 17 kilometers per hour to unlock a pair of ZPump 2.0 shoes. Each sign was equipped with a speed cam and tracking technology that measured pedestrians’ pace and determined if they outran the clock. Crowds formed by the displays, giving participants encouragement and boosting their adrenaline. Those who accomplished the task within the time frame were rewarded with sneakers on the spot. The campaign not only aimed to get people moving but also to push past their limits.