Near Helps Virgin Active Increase Walk-Ins by 76%

Posted by Sowmya Achar On November 08, 2017


Develop a strategy that increases consumer engagement with Virgin Active as a brand, whilst also influencing an upturn in club


To meet this objective, Amnet/Amplifi worked closely with Near, an ambient intelligence platform. Near used its SaaS product Allspark to build an effective two-phase campaign strategy to identify, and reach Virgin Active’s target audience.


In the first phase of the campaign, Virgin Active’s target audience was created in Allspark using multiple data sets. These users were then targeted with a dynamic mobile ad when they fell within a close proximity to a Virgin Active Health Club.

While working with the available data, Near found that a large proportion of the targeted audience frequented cinemas and theatres, allowing Allspark to further fine-tune the target profiles
for the second phase of Virgin’s nation-wide campaign.


To measure the impact of the targeting strategy, Near performed a number of analyses. One of which included looking at the number of the target audience who walked into one of the clubs
during and after the campaign, and comparing it to the number of walk-ins before the launch of the campaign. The difference was astounding, revealing a 70% uplift in walk-ins of the audience in the first phase, which further increased to 82% in the second phase of the campaign. This uplift from 70% to 82% can be attributed to the audience optimisations carried out throughout the course of the two bursts.

The foot traffic into Virgin Active Health clubs continued to increase even after the campaigns had ended, with an increase of 28% post phase one, and a 32% increase post phase two.

Near also conducted a detailed attribution study to determine how many people saw the mobile ad and then walked into a nearby club, and compared it to the control group which are people from the same target audience who walked in without any exposure to the ad campaign. In Allspark terminology, this study is called Attribution Lift Index (ALI) and is a very good indicator of the effectiveness of a campaign at driving footfall to a given location. During phase one of the campaign the ALI reached a staggering 111%. During the second phase of the campaign ALI reached 52%, which is a significant number considering that members were excluded from being targeted, therefore all walk-ins would have been generated as the
result of new people noticing the ad, and acting upon it.

This case study demonstrates that Virgin Active has been at the forefront of adoption of new technologies. The brand utilised a new approach based on fresh data to reach out to the right audience, boost walk-ins, and acquire new customers by acting on real-time insights.

Sowmya Achar