Gen Z’s Branded Fitness : #PilatesGirl

Do you know that the #PilatesGirl trends are one example of promotional culture?

What is a promotional culture?

Promotional culture is a phrase used to describe how the market has invaded every sphere of public and private life (Wernick, 1991)

Our sense of self, community, relationships, values are constructed within the terms of
promotional culture, from the brands we wear, the university we go to, the technology we purchased and even the exercise we promote (Wernick, 1991).

incorporating certain exercise into an individual’s lifestyle can be categorized as branded fitness. Branded fitness itself is a term of promotional culture in the fitness industry.

Branded fitness as explained by Devon Powers and DM Greenwell in Branded fitness: Exercise and promotional culture- had an impact on society’s views towards exercise and how much of a part it plays in their lives.

Explained in the article, branded fitness activities differ from conventional exercises; it is practiced in specific locations, it requires membership fees and they are included into and highlighted by the wholeness of the brand associated

This characteristic aligns with one of the most popular trends today: the “PilatesGirl” culture. This trend has gone viral over the last three years, many influencers and content creators have engaged in this trend.

Though Pilates has been around for a while, emerging trends can give the offering a new feel, attracting new members and driving additional profits. The #PilatesGirl trend is promoted well as they claimed that pilates has a lot of advantages: build long lean muscles, flexibility, core strength, and a supportive community (Leicht, 2019).

There are key characteristics when we see this “pilates girl” culture on social media. They invest in workout sets, reputable pilates studios, reformer machines, mats and even socks.

With individuals investing their time and money to be a part of this trend, they are becoming a promotional media for the brands associated.

How is it possible?

The #PilatesGirl trend empowers individuals to post their activity before, during, and after doing the exercise on social media. This is when brands obtain exposure and brand recognition. Individuals are unconsciously becoming their free marketing tool.

This being said, individuals should be aware of what they are promoting – the history, reputation, and goal of the brand.

By watching this video, I hope you guys understand the meaning of promotional culture, the difference between “pilates” as an exercise and “PilatesGirl” as a trend and how important it is to be aware of what you are promoting.

TikTok Video Reference

Leicht, L. (2019, August 6). 7 Pilates Benefits To Know — Here’s What Pilates Is Good For. Women’s Health. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from

Powers, D., & Greenwell, D. M. (2017). Branded fitness: Exercise and promotional culture. Journal of Consumer Culture, 17(3), 523-541.

Wernick, A. (1991). Promotional culture. CTheory, 15(1-3), 260-281.