CategoryA15. Innovation in Branded Content
Production BAYLY GROUP Richmond, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Pat Baron McCann Worldgroup Chief Creative Officer Australia
Matt Lawson McCann Melbourne Executive Creative Director
Charles Baylis McCann Melbourne Copywriter
Matt Lawson McCann Melbourne Art Director
Caity Moloney McCann Melbourne Art Director
Alec Hussain McCann Melbourne Account Director
Angela Lethbridge McCann Melbourne Account Executive
Victoria Conners McCann Melbourne Agency Producer
Afrim Memed McCann Melbourne Producer
Adrian Mills McCann Melbourne Managing Director
Tony Prysten McCann Melbourne Head of Digital
Chris Baker McCann Melbourne Head of Social
Guilherme Pocai De Almeida McCann Melbourne Digital Designer
Vic U McCann Melbourne Social Art Director
Joe Guario McCann Melbourne Digital Producer
Oliver Knocker McCann Melbourne Editor
Caity Moloney McCann Melbourne Music Production
Nat Pavlovic McCann Melbourne Music Production
Nick Rieve Treehouse Studios Director

The Campaign

The YMCA believes in ‘health through happiness’, so we created a manifestation of this brand purpose: a new type of exercise equipment that uses a child’s weight as exercise weight, allowing a parent’s workout to power their children’s play. The 3 machines include the Pec-A-Boo; a machine fly that works as a baby bouncer, the Row-Row-Row-Machine; a row machine that powers a child’s ride-on dolphin, and the Pull-Upsy-Daisy; a pull-up platform that works as a seesaw for the child. The Playnasium enabled the YMCA to encourage healthy behaviours in time poor parents whilst directly driving registrations to their services. Holding Playnasium events in targeted communities gave people a live experience of the YMCA’s commitment to building healthier, happier communities whilst driving increased registrations to their services in that area.

Creative Execution

Installed in public parks across the state, the YMCA Playnasium uses a child's weight as exercise weight, allowing a parent's workout to power their child's play. Each piece of equipment is designed for different age groups and muscle groups-but all help parents get fit, spend quality time with their children and model good behaviour. With their bold, simple, toy-like design, children were naturally drawn to experience the Playnasium, encouraging even the most reluctant parents into exercise. Created in consultation with sports scientists and child psychologists, the Playnasium not only redesigned gym equipment by making it communal and fun, but also redesigned play equipment by placing the parent in front of the child (unlike traditional play equipment) encouraging attunement – connecting the parent and child at eye level. This equipment exceeds the Australian Safety Standards for both outdoor gym and play equipment, ensuring that it is safe for global roll out.

The YMCA Playnasium has been installed in 21 key locations across the state of Victoria, establishing the YMCA’s role as a key health brand in Australia. The launch of the equipment received over 10 million PR impressions. Over 40,000 parents have exercised with a YMCA Playnasium so far. Families spent an average of 37 minutes exercising on the Playnasium – twice the minimum recommended daily amount. Tracking studies showed that 87% of this audience had changed their perception of the YMCA as a health organisation and 73% said they would take up regular exercise with their children as a direct result. As an ancillary result, registrations for YMCA services in these areas rose by 27%. International roll out will begin in the United States in October 2017.

The YMCA is physical manifestation of the YMCA’s brand philosophy of getting people together to get active. By using a child’s weight as exercise weight parents, for the first time, could work out whilst spending quality time with their children. Placed in parks these innovative exercise machines, became a fun and active outdoor advertising that allowed people to connect with the YMCA brand in a way they had never done before.

To help role model healthier behaviours in children our campaign targeted the root cause; parents. We identified time as one of the key obstacles for this audience; parents of young children find it hard to get to the gym, and when they do they rarely take their children. We needed to design a solution that would enable children to see their parents exercising, and as a secondary objective, associate that activity with the YMCA brand. Our budget meant we had to be smart about the media we used, so we strategically relied on word of mouth for greater amplification. It was important that our communication reached communities at a grass-roots level. Furthermore, given the YMCA’s rich brand history of innovation in exercise (including the invention of basketball and volleyball), it was a logical conclusion that, instead of simply writing a brand manifesto, we should design them a manifestation.


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