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The Lessons Coke & Cigarettes Can Teach You About Marketing Your PT Business

Personal Trainer Marketing Using Coke & Cigarettes

“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”
― Joseph Campbell

The sophisticated world on Personal Trainer Marketing and how we can apply the EXACT same sneaky tricks of the 2 biggest manipulative products of our world… Coke and Cigarettes…

Tease a dog with food and make it drool.  Anticipation is the act of imagining the experience you’re going to have… and dream doing it now.  Sometimes it’s excitement and other times it’s anxiety.  It doesn’t matter.

You can’t wait.  And at times the lead-up is more exciting than the actual event.  It’s a powerful motivator.

You act uncontrollably and do everything in turning that feeling into a reality.

You thought of an experience…. you imagined a feeling… your senses are approaching near meltdown and the anticipation is killing you…

Coke commercials.

In my opinion, they’re the best.  In each add, you see good looking people having a super sensual time at some crazy party at some clear water beach on an isolated tropical island – and everyone’s invited.  Guys with 6 packs and girls with bikini’s enjoying life… without a worry in sight…

…Happiness.  Enjoyment.  Girls.  Guys.  Sexy bodies. Vigour.  Health.  Beach.  Summer….

…and you get all that by drinking Coke…

No other drink can give you that experience.  But coke can.

People watch those commercials and say… oooohhh yeah, I want that feeling.  (I mean, doesn’t everyone want it…?)

 Increasing Personal Trainer Marketing Using Coke Tricks

When thirst creeps up; Coke to the rescue.  It’s subliminal.  And it appears to be working.

It’s aimed at young teens who just wanna have fun.  And when they’re addicted – they’ll be ‘enjoying’ it later in life also.  And when their health’s at risk – Diet Coke to the rescue.  They have it all figured out…

But nothings cooler than the Marlboro man.  The cool cowboy who lives alone, cooks his own food and takes life slow… Tough.  Never asks for directions.  Needs no help from no one.  Nothing worries him.  Life’s under total control… living the simple life… all because he smokes… Marlboro…


Personal Trainer Marketing Coke Cigarettes

Coke IS the biggest selling drink in the world and has been for decades.

Marlboro IS the biggest selling cigarette brand in the world – and dominating by far…

The Lesson: The myth always rules.  It dominates.

It goes to show; people don’t buy health.  They don’t just buy anything to quench their thirst.  They’d rather smoke and imagine being cool than worry about lung cancer.  They buy the myth.  And can’t wait to enter the state of immense pleasure and imagination… the sanctuary of escape.

People know coke ain’t good for them.  They’ll even tell you that while sculling 2 litres of it for breakfast.  But cool fit good looking youthful teens who stay young all their lives and party every day can only do so by drinking a dark gassy sugary acidy drink which sparkles rusty coins.

Out of all the cigarette companies out there, Marlboro is absolutely killing it with sales.  I mean… cigarettes aren’t all that different.  Isn’t a drink a drink…?  It quenches thirst right?

I’ve never smoked in my life, but I’m strongly assuming that Marlboro isn’t that much better than the rest.  But if a tough worry free – easy going cool cowboy smokes them, then perhaps they are…

The busiest period for Personal Trainers is NOW.  The taste of spring and summer days urgently quivers people with the taste of health and vigour jumpstarting their “I wanna shape up now” mode.

More people are walking.  Others attempting to run for the first time in 15 years.  I mean – you see all that now… people embrace it.  They welcome it.  But in the colder months when seen walking, running or riding your bike – you were looked upon in disgrace.

More people are joining fitness centres.  Infomercials are bringing out their 5 minutes a day workouts while watching TV that folds away under your bed and look like a fitness model in 30 days.

Isn’t it funny how some people spend 15-20 years becoming fat and unhealthy and expect to reverse all that in just 12 weeks…?

…then when you tell ‘em and show ‘em how much work’s required – they nearly feint – or quit and ramble on how much of a bad trainer you are because you aren’t putting them on the ab rocker circle shredder pro 2000 XL edition…

… People want results NOW.  It’s spring damn it.  Summer’s just around the corner and “I gotta drop 5 dress sizes in 2 months.  Make it happen!”

There are many people out there who drink litres and litres of coke each day.  And if you take a look at them, they’re getting further and further away from that beach party on their favourite exotic island.

If you feel miserable (because your blood sugar is out of whack ) – reach for a coke.  It’ll make you feel better.  Dream better…

…If life’s too ‘rough’ and all you want is some closure from your daily pressures… reach out for a Marlboro and be that cool rough cowboy living the peaceful life…

The Lesson: if Coke and Marlboro (the 2 most unhealthiest habits of human evolution) appeal to the mythical adventures of your imagination and are THE biggest selling products of our lifetime… then there’s something to be said about appealing to the damn imagination…!

Coke’s all about having wild parties.  The Marlboro man is cool, tough and in control of his life.  The 5 minute a day Ab rocker tornado pro 3000 Cyclone Edition which magically sculpts your arms, chest, back, legs and gives you a golden sunset tan at the end so you can wear fluorescent Speedos at the beach… then there’s a lesson in all this…

The Anticipation of how cool your life will be as the result of your product is one killer persuasive technique.  

Next time in your sales presentation, why not ask the question… “once you reach your goals, what different clothes to you see yourself wearing?”

“How do you see your lifestyle being different?  What more pleasures will result from this”

Most trainers keep drumming how much ‘healthier’ you’re going to be and how much lower your blood pressure will be so you can live a healthier life…

… No one cares! Instead you must paint a vivid picture of all the benefits they’re going to experience inside their mind.

Here’s an example of someone coming to you because they want more energy throughout the day to play with their kids (it’s very common)

“imagine just 6 months from now sleeping less and jumping out of bed with timeless energy so you can spend even more time with your kids and playing with them all day long and actually enjoying the extended pleasure only you can provide them.  The exciting look on your kids faces each time they play with you is something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives… they’re only young once and these are the times they’ll remember most…  Make it happen…”

And based on the responses you get, show them how you’re gonna help them achieve that.  What they are to expect in the coming weeks with you.  And paint vivid pictures in their mind of them achieving their goals and fully experiencing it.

Coke appeals to the imagination with their commercials.  Any picture of the Marlboro man focuses on the ‘coolness’ and “I don’t give a crap about what the rest of the world thinks.  I got it all figured out” rough and easy livin’ attitude.  The infomercials have paid celebrities and other actors which fake story their way on how unhealthy or uninteresting their previous lives were and now have a brand new ‘lavish’ lifestyle all because of that new miracle machine that’s “unlike any other fitness product out there”

How are you different?
What pictures can you paint in your clients mind?
How can you help your clients fulfil their imagination?
When can you help your clients achieve their goals?
(how quickly can you fill their anticipation gap?)  

Dedicated In Accelerating Your Personal Training Business Every Step Of The Way..
John Toumpakke

P.S. I like the Marlboro man and the myth it represents.  And my favourite genre of movies are westerns.  I know it’s hard to believe… But even when you take away Coke, cigarettes and those clothes hanging fitness gizmo’s people use as furniture… there are STILL other ways to be cool….

P.P.S. Two of my fittest clients EVER were a pack a day smokers.  For 4 years they never missed a session, they jogged for 25 mins to my session… trained super-hard and jogged back 5 times per week.  It seemed like smoking was their motivation to train even harder.  And the funny thing was – they never winged, complained or made any excuses.  They didn’t smoke Marlboro…

P.P.P.S. Wayne McLaren and David McLean were 2 of the biggest Marlboro Man models of the 70-80’s.  Wayne died of lung cancer at age 53 and David died of cancer age 73 – of which spread from his lung.

And by the way… you might wanna check out my post entitled… Personal Trainer Marketing & 50 Shades Of Spring Fashion for some more creative Tips For Marketing your PT Business…

Comments are welcome 🙂


    • Thanks Jai… It seems like the possibilities are endless!

      If Coke and Cigarette companies can sell their products… as a Fitness Professional it should be easy, right?

      Maybe too many trainers get it wrong because they focus too much selling on logic. The secret lies in the emotion.

      You comments are always appreciated Jai.

  1. Too many people shun these unhealthy companies. I know I did once. But reading your post John, you just shined a whole new light on the importance of learning from these companies. Sometimes you can learn a whole lot more from industries totally different from ours.

    Who would of thought coke and smokes to be our friend…?

    This is one hell of an eye-opening post John. I can’t thank you enough for giving me so many new ideas and approaches to my clients 🙂

    • Exactly Brenda!

      You got the ‘hidden’ message I was trying to bring across. We can learn from just about any industry. The purpose is to open your mind. And I can see how wide-spread you’re taking this message.

      To improve your client getting strategies in your Personal Training business – use imagination. Not logic.

      Thank you for your insightful post Brenda

  2. Hi John,

    Thanks for another great post!

    Its interesting to see how Coke and Marlboro market their products, thanks for the tips on how we can use their marketing style 🙂

    • Hi Michael,

      These tactics work in ANY industry. No business is different. Everyone cares about health, appreciation, status and being liked by others.

      I would love to know what kind of cool ideas you got from this.

      Thanks for your comment Michael. Always appreciated 🙂

  3. I think this is your most multifaceted marketing article in general, especially for PT’s. Man, checking through your archives, I find articles so relevant to my PT business, this is so exciting!

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