Gym Membership Programs: Image Motivation and Conditional Discount Framing

Document Type



gym membership; ads; advertising

Identifier Data



Taylor and Francis Online

Publication Source

Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising


This article reports the results of a study examining consumer responses to gym membership advertisements for individual and group workout programs, according to whether the ads use a gain frame for advertising a minimum participation requirement (“Visit ten times a month and get $50 off”) or a loss frame (“Pay $50 more if you fail to make ten visits a month”). Participants in a 2 (group versus individual exercise) × 2 (gain versus loss framing) × 2 (overachievement versus adequate achievement) experimental study indicate that overachieving (adequately achieving) group exercisers respond more positively to gain framing (loss framing) of minimum participation requirement, but individual exercisers do not show such effects. Public image is identified as the basis for the differences between group and lone exercisers. The findings have implications for marketers and policymakers who wish to use public image to encourage positive behaviors.