March 10, 2015

'Time' Campaign Boosts YMCA Family Memberships

Families are busy. Signing up for one more activity—YMCA membership—would be easy to postpone. Yet JayRay and the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties worked out an advertising strategy that resulted in significant membership growth in recent months.

The campaign debuted in September. It was repeated in January, with changes JayRay suggested based on digital and social media analytics from the fall campaign.

“Time” was the theme of the campaign materials—specifically, an urgency with two weeks to sign up at the YMCA with no joining fees. Rather than photos of smiling children jumping rope or moms sweating through yoga class, the ads featured bold, simple illustrations of clocks and watches. JayRay’s strategy was to focus on the offer.

A more focused media buy than in previous years also helped YMCA staff leverage the ad budget more effectively.

Parents responded. Membership growth had a 29 percent increase over the same time period the year before. More than 3,200 people enrolled during the two-week fall campaign. January results also were very strong, with exact numbers still being finalized.

“The promotion surpassed our expectations. We are grateful for JayRay’s guidance and expertise,” said Michelle LaRue, senior vice president, development and marketing, YMCA. “This is exactly what we needed to get over the new membership plateau and start growing again.”