A year ago, Massage Envy was a brand in crisis, plagued by some 200 accusations of sexual assault of customers at its facilities. Since then, the 1,200-unit chain has implemented new safety measures to reassure consumers, and it is now ready to push a brand awareness campaign.
"A few bad apples put us in the headlines in a not-so-positive way," says Kathy Collins, who joined the Scottsdale, Arizona-based brand as chief marketing officer last July, noting that she came onboard in order to "take all the good in this brand and blow that up."
Last year, Collins tapped Fallon as Massage Envy's agency-of-record after she worked with the Minneapolis-based shop at H&R Block. A series of ads designed to challenge the perception that massages are a luxury only for the affluent by conveying them as a routine necessity for a healthy life, debut next week. The chain is budgeting between $20 million and $25 million on the media for the new push, more than previous efforts which cost between $16 million and $20 million, Collins says. In 2017, Massage Envy spent $17.9 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media.
The campaign includes 15-and 30-second national TV spots, digital video, social media and radio ads as part of the new "Keep your body working" messaging. In one spot, a common desk chair is depicted as the enemy that could ruin a worker's spine without the proper regular treatment.
"Our objective is to normalize massage," says Collins. "We're making massage as normal and routine as working out, getting a good night's sleep, flossing your teeth or eating the right foods."
The new work replaces an older campaign around a "Making the most of every body" tagline.
After the allegations last year, Massage Envy founded a safety advisory council that includes industry executives, a forensic psychologist and a representative from RAINN, the anti-assault advocacy organization. It also committed to deeper background checks of employees, and dedicated space on its website under a "Commitment to Safety" headline to make customers aware of the changes.