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Burn calories, give calories

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our customisable research platform featuring the world’s most innovative, creative and effective ad campaigns and marketing ideas

Wearable tech company encourages altruism

Activity tracker brand Fitbit has partnered with US hunger relief non-profit Feeding America on an initiative linking donation to participation in the truest sense of the term.

Primarily targeting those people who have abandoned their New Year’s resolutions, the FitforFood campaign is open to anyone with a Fitbit device. To take part, users simply opt in to the programme, and from that point, every active calorie they burn is aggregated toward the ultimate target: 1 billion calories which will be converted (at a monetary value of $0.00015 per calorie) into 1.5 million meals for US citizens in need.

Launched on 3 February, FitforFood has been launched with a video (above) starring comedian, writer and actor Joel McHale, well-known for his starring role in hit comedy show Community.

In the film, the star mocks Fitbit’s relentlessly upbeat 2014 TV commercial, trading its perky sporting lyrics for a sarcastic list of his own slovenly habits, including eating donuts and bacon, drinking to forget and starting random fires.

The campaign is designed to motivate those already struggling to keep their New Year’s fitness resolutions on track, substituting sweaty self-interest for the golden glow of working out for the greater good. They have until 3 March to hit the goal of 1 billion calories.


Contagious Insight /

Bringing meaning to monitoring / The emotional connection that Fitbit is aiming to create between the user and their Fitbit device is worth pointing out with this initiative. Despite the initial flurry of excitement around wearables, the post-Nike Fuelband fitness tracking category seems to have become rather commoditised, with a wide range of relatively undifferentiated players doing their best to build loyalty by highlighting the rational benefits of their products. However, the FitForFood campaign does a solid job of establishing a clear win-win for Fitbit users and people who are simply struggling to get by: it will be interesting to see whether that pursuit of a purpose angle is continued by the brand.

Frictionless fitness, frictionless food / Here, charitable giving blends perfectly not only with a brilliantly appropriate partner, but also with the fundamental mechanics of the brand’s core function. Providing a seamless and significant way to contribute undoubtedly enhances the likelihood that people will opt in.

Fit for Food


This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O. Contagious I/O is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious I/O contact