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Cristiano Ronaldo and TBWA get into fitness tech

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The Auditoire marketing consultancy and TBWA’s Digital Arts Network China have launched a new fitness training device called the “SIXPAD,” which was co-developed with none other than football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. It's well understood that healthy living is an important part of Chinese culture, but now the fitness market is also gaining momentum as more Chinese people hit the gym to tone their bodies. The SIXPAD hopes to tap into this expanding market. The device costs ¥23,800, which is about £200. Ronaldo hailed the machine as a revolutionary device that he can use and identify with (something tells us that last part got lost in translation).

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SIXPAD Commercial

Whilst it might look like a slightly more sexy version of one of those spasming ab toners that were all the rage in the 90's, the fact that it was developed with a world-class football star and fitness enthusiast should assuage any fears that the device is in any way a fad or a gimmick. It apparently uses Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS) to work your muscles. The idea is that, as muscles act in response to signals from the brain, EMS can use electrical signals to directly stimulate and exercise your muscles directly.

TBWA’s Digital Arts Network China have launched a new fitness training device, which was co-developed with none other than football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo

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The SIXPAD campaign launched earlier this month. An exclusive partnership with Tmall, the Chinese B2C website, was announced, which resulted in a welcome message on the Tmall app as well as homepage placements, and on-site media. The campaign culminated with Ronaldo unveiling the product at the Ritz Carlton Pudong on July 9 alongside an automated silicone clone of himself created by a 3D printer (which we have to admit looks nothing like him). On the same day, SIXPAD’s Sina Weibo and WeChat channels were launched, in addition to a responsive, mobile-friendly product website. To further engage and educate consumers, a mobile game will soon be launched whereby consumers will have to quickly tap different abdominal muscles to strengthen them, similar to how the device's EMS technology works. As a strategic partner, Terra Wellness gyms will also advertise the product in their stores.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Interview

Bethal Thakral, CEO of the Thakral Corporation, which built the product, commented: “We are honoured to be the exclusive distributor of SIXPAD in China. According to our consumer research, we believe SIXPAD is a great solution not only for fitness enthusiasts and athletes, but also office workers who care about their figures, but just don’t have the time to work out. EMS technology can enhance training and a SIXPAD can make fitness easy to do anywhere, any time.” Charles Voon, general manager of DAN China, added: “This is a unique launch for China involving a live event, multiple brand social channels, WeChat engagement, and eCommerce partnerships. Our team was thrilled to work with Thakral on the launch of SIXPAD in China.”

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