“Sweatbeard Challenge” Named Best Small Business Social Media Campaign

March 29, 2016

The Web Marketing Association recognized Preston Kelly with an award for outstanding digital work on behalf of The Shed Fitness Studio in its annual Internet Advertising Competition Awards.

The Shed needed to stand out in a saturated health club market but had nearly nonexistent funds for paid media. Preston Kelly was tasked with helping The Shed engage current members, increase class attendance and build awareness with prospective members.

Preston Kelly identified social media as a relevant and low-cost channel to reach potential members who were enthusiastic about their wellness and would identify with the studio’s environment.

In surveying the competitive landscape, Preston Kelly discovered a sea of fitness ads featuring attractive models with washboard abs and perfect tans. With research showing that feelings of self-consciousness pose a barrier to fitness, The Shed wanted to stand for more than a photoshopped beach body. Preston Kelly set out to bring the approachable “no frills” atmosphere of The Shed to life and engage people of all fitness levels. And thus, the #SweatbeardChallenge was born.

The Sweatbeard Challenge embraces the fact that a real workout isn’t glamorous. It’s sweaty and raw. The attention-getting social media photo contest empowered current and prospective members to take pride in their hard-earned sweat. The contest challenged contestants to show off the moist triangle of awesomeness on their shirt, blossoming just below their neck.

Sweatbeards are the visual proof of a great workout. And they’re very share-worthy.

“We know how influential user-generated content can be,” said agency EVP/ Creative Director Chris Preston. “With the help of an Iconic Idea like the Sweatbeard Challenge, we could help recruit more members to break a sweat without breaking the bank.”

About the Competition

The Internet Advertising Competition Awards recognizes outstanding interactive media work for websites, mobile applications, interactive displays, public exhibits, online advertising, video and email. Judging is done by industry professionals.

Preston Kelly
222 First Avenue NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
T: 612.843.4000
F: 612.399.9970
Park free against the back of our building in the 2-story garage. Look for the black PK signs. Ring the bell to the right of the back door.
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