Back in February 2018, Burn 60 joined forces with AthliOS, a fitness software developer. We set out to build an immersive group training experience to help traditional treadmill manufacturers combat Peloton. For the project to succeed, we needed to attract the attention of key stakeholders early in the development process. We targeted the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) convention as the perfect opportunity to make a splash, but there was just one problem. IHRSA was in 45 days, and we were months away from a working prototype. We quickly pivoted our strategy and decided to shoot a teaser to showcase our vision for the product.
Conceptualize, shoot and edit a Burn 60 Live teaser to premiere at IHRSA 2018 in San Diego, California.
In the research phase, we examined content produced by leading fitness streaming companies, such as Peloton and Daily Burn, to discover how we could position Burn 60 live as a legitimate competitor. We identified two key insights:
To garner interest from major equipment manufacturers, we would need to develop a visual narrative around the use of the product, not just its features. We enlisted the help of director Simon Needham from Blue Eyed Pictures, who had created video content for Burn 60 in the past, to execute this goal.
With the interaction requirements in place, I began to develop a narrative around a young, professional, mother named Janet and the motivational role Burn 60 live played in her life.
A young mother (30-35 yrs. old) named Janet is a high-level executive at a marketing/PR firm in West Hollywood. She lives a stressful and fast-paced life, filled with professional and family obligations. Presenting multi-million-dollar marketing concepts to movies studios, meeting with potential clients and making sure her children have dinner on the table are just a few of the responsibilities that occupy her overflowing schedule.
How does she make it all work? Where does her never-ending supply of energy and confidence originate? Well, it all starts at first light when she steps onto her Burn 60 treadmill for a 60-min. full body workout.
As the sun begins to crest over the Hollywood hills, beams of light cut through her floor to ceiling glass windows and illuminate her sweat-laden face. With each passing sprint, she can feel the confidence surging through her veins. This feeling so euphoric, so primal, brings a smile to her face. She has found her serenity--a moment outside of space and time. This is what she lives for.
Fitness is her passion, her weapon, her refuge. Her daily workouts fill her soul with purpose and center her focus. Without out it, she is nothing. With it, she can conquer the world.
To help the director empathize with Janet’s transformative experience, I created a narrative arch that communicates how the theme of intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation would play out.
“Burn 60 Live is so immersive it will make you feel like you’re in a real Burn 60 class.”
This sentence sparked my concept for the teaser. During key moments in the workout, I wanted to “transport” Janet from her home gym into a real Burn 60 class. There, the camera would switch from third to first-person view. I thought this story technique would make the experience more relatable and imply the personal connection between the user and the trainer.
After presenting the storyboard, I received some push-back from Mark, the head engineer. He wanted a product-driven spot that was grounded in reality. He argued that showcasing “fantasy-scenes” could be misinterpreted as real product features. After much deliberation, we compromised by cutting out several “transport” scenes.
My strategy in writing the voice-over was to outline the core marketing storylines, and then translate them into copy that reinforces the implied messaging. Simon, the director, added additional “trainer whispers” throughout the spot to enhance the immersive feeling.
I wanted the music to be the driving force behind the teaser, almost like a music video. I reached out to an old middle school friend, who just happened to be a successful music producer, to re-engineer his song “My-Cloud” to match the build-up and rising/falling action in the spot.
During the ideation phase, I split my time between working with Blue Eyed and leading the design of the Burn 60 UI and production system. I knew from the start that the product we presented in the teaser would not be the final iteration, which was difficult to come to terms with. But, it was more important to showcase the possibilities of what we could do with AthliOS’ technology. The insights we gathered during this development period became extremely valuable later on in the project.
In the final hours before the shoot, Jordan and I animated my original concept in after effects. And when I say "final hours" I mean FINAL HOURS. We didn't finish animating the homepage until 3:00a the morning of filming. Teamwork makes the dream work baby!
After 30 days of planning, we shot the Burn 60 live teaser at a beautiful Bel-Air mansion. I was in charge of coaching the talent on how to interact with the UI, which was no easy task. For the treadmill shots, Mark hacked together a video player to display the UI interactions. If the talent physically touched the screen, the entire player shut down. As you can imagine, the cameraman and I became very close friends...
On March 9th, 2018, we premiered the Burn 60 LIVE teaser at IHRSA. It was a huge success and helped us start conversations with all of our target partners. Woodway was even kind enough to load a demo workout on all of their equipment, which allowed us to gather user-research during the 3-day conference. To read more about the current development of Burn 60 live, check out the Burn 60 Live UI case study.