Gymbox insults its customers with ‘Sunday Roast’ and demand goes up by 260%

It’s a novel approach to winning customers. “You look like a pathetic group of backing dancers” and “Is this what you thought you’d be doing with your life?” isn’t the obvious way to make people feel at home, but Gymbox’s “Sunday Roast” class, in which a comedian comes in to take the mickey out of participants, is oversubscribed by 260%.

And it’s personal – a questionnaire goes out ahead of the class to make sure that the comedian has ammunition to work with about the individuals taking part. Apparently laughter increases heart rate and calorie expenditure by up to 20%, if you can last out the humiliation in the class.

Communications consultancy Cut the Bull thought up the idea on the back of the Edinburgh Fringe, partnering with 99 Comedy Club to provide comedians for the regular Sunday class.

Rory McEntee, creative director at Gymbox, said: “We’re known for putting on creative classes but throwing a comedian into the mix is certainly the most unique one to date. Let’s face it, we all need a laugh after the sh*tshow we’ve been through over the last 18 months.”

Gymbox has a history of provocative work and markets itself as the gym where “Anything goes.” Its last campaign, to mark the reopening of gyms in April, was an OOH effort by BMB, which included the line, “Thanks Joe Wicks, but we’re back and we’ll take it from here.”

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.

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