How Therabody connects with online holiday shoppers with its partnership with NBA star James Harden

Therabody, the body wellness-technology brand launched in 2016, is leveraging its partnership with NBA star James Harden to connect with holiday shoppers through connected TV and social media.

In partnership with Harden, a NBA player for the Philadelphia 76ers, Therabody created a comedic take on how Santa trains for the holidays and how he recovers afterwards. This 30-second ad was created by Therabody’s in-house team to capture the joy of the season as well as to inspire people to not only take time for their own well-being, but to pass it on to someone who could benefit from it. The financial agreement was not disclosed.

Since it was a collaborative effort, Harden was very receptive to a holiday concept that was different from the typical athlete fitness concept, according to John Solomon, Therabody’s CMO. “Both our team and his wanted to integrate James’ persona and passions into the storytelling approach, so we worked together to ensure that every element was a reflection of both James and Therabody, from the wardrobe to the music to the script and beyond,” said Solomon.

The brand launched a spot on connected TV along with YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok on December 5th and will run until the end of the year. With this ad, the brand is targeting millennials and Gen Z who may be in pain as its products and content are designed to make movement easier. Therabody wants to be a resource that provides simple wellness solutions people can do at home, according to Solomon.

It is unclear how much of Therabody’s advertising budget is allocated to this campaign as Solomon declined to share overall budget specifics. According to Pathmatics data, the brand spent a little over $5 million so far on advertising in 2022 in which the majority of the spend was for OTT (86%) and the least for mobile display (10%). Solomon also said that the ad spend for this campaign was 100% focused on digital.

“Therabody’s ad does a great job of including all of the elements of an engaging holiday campaign that gets the message of the product to the targeted shopper across, without pushing the product too much in the consumer’s face as the perfect gift for the holiday season,” said James Moore, managing partner at KME Ventures, a digital strategy marketing firm.

The goal is to attract customers in an entertaining, fun way, with the intention of engaging with them while they are scrolling, whether they are on the couch or waiting in line at a point of sale.

“At the highest level, we want people to know that Therabody exists to inspire all people to keep their minds and bodies moving,” said Solomon. “In this spot, we want people to know that while we are the experts in tech wellness, we like to have fun, too.”

Therabody is not the only brand to go out of its way for holiday marketing as it is back in full force this year with the purpose to gain visibility among shoppers online. A variety of brands are taking advantage of the holiday season, including Lowe’s, Foot Locker, and Ocean Spray.

It’s important to advertise during the holidays for the same reasons it’s important at other times: to reach new audiences and to remain on people’s minds. VSA Partners’ executive creative director Kim Mickenberg said it’s especially crucial now as brands might be tempted to spend less on top-of-funnel advertising as we enter a recession.

“That’s why it’s nice to see Therabody using this opportunity to show a fun, whimsical ‘use case’ for their product,” said Mickenberg. “Many people will identify with Santa’s efforts to get in shape for a big event, and even more will connect with the aches and pains that come with it—and that Theragun can help treat.”

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