Fitbit Starts First Global Campaign

Move Comes As New Products Continue To Enter Wearables Market

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Advertising Age Player

Fitness-wearables company Fitbit is launching its first campaign as the fitness-wearables category gets more crowded.

Up until now the brand hadn't advertised much, and it didn't need to. It has an overwhelmingly large market share in the activity-trackers category, and it's available in 40,000 locations in 48 different countries. Fitbit's unit share of the Full Body Activity Trackers at the end of third quarter 2014 was 69%, according to NPD Group's Retail Tracking Service. The No. 2 brand, Jawbone, had 14%.

And while Fitbit maintains a stronghold on the category, and despite the fact that brands no less than Nike have found the space a challenge to say the least, the San Francisco-based company knows that new brands like Apple Watch are popping up constantly. "We feel like the category is maturing, so the time felt right to launch a brand and product campaign," said Tim Rosa, VP-global marketing at Fitbit. "It's getting more competitive so we felt like it was a good time to step up our game."

Mr. Rosa said that although Apple Watch competes in the same space, it will often attract different consumers, in part because the highest-end FitBit product is $100 cheaper than Apple Watch's cheapest version, but also because Fitbit doesn't have as many bells and whistles. "We're actually excited they're entering," he said. "All ships rise in a high tide, and they're going to bring a lot of education to the category."

The seven-year-old brand has been active in the digital and PR space since its inception, but this campaign, created by San Francisco-based Argonaut -- an agency known for creating a 2014 Super Bowl ad for Volkswagen -- will include marketing across all media, including TV with buys on network and cable channels, as well as internationally in Asia-Pacific as well as Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Digital and some spots aired in movie theaters kicked off Friday, but spots on TV will air Monday. The company declined to provide specifics on ad spending, but said it's into the eight-figure range.

The campaign will highlight the brand's new products: the Charge, the Charge HR and Surge. The Charge, which is available now, is the newest product in its "everyday fitness" line, which is designed for the casual exerciser who wants to keep better track of how far he or she walks per day. But the Charge HR and the Surge, which won't be available until early 2015, are products meant to appeal to more serious fitness fans and performance athletes, said Mr. Rosa.

The campaign is a brand-oriented one, but will also feature the new products prominently. "We wanted to create a campaign that says fitness is different for everyone, and you can find your own type of fitness," said Mr. Rosa.

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