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Equinox continues irreverent out-of-home and social media campaign

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The campaign was shot by fashion photographer Steven Klein

Luxury fitness brand Equinox is following up its well-publicized and controversial Commit to Something campaign with a new iteration under the same banner, which re-envisions its ethos while also betting heavily on social.

The crux of the campaign is the series of seven images shot by world-renowned fashion photographer Steven Klein, beautifully shot and as provocative as advertising campaigns go, especially for an out-of-home effort. The campaign was borne out of desire to “confront current cultural issues and assert that commitment has the power to define who we are in the deepest sense.”

“This year's campaign revolves around the notion that what you commit to is who you are, so we're daring viewers to take stance and look inward, even if doing so makes you a little bit uncomfortable," said Carlos Becil, chief marketing officer at Equinox.  "We're in the business of changing lives at Equinox, so we've learned firsthand that going 'all in' on anything—whether it be a workout, a cause or yourself—will undoubtedly get you one step closer to finding out who you really are."

Commit to Something
Last year’s campaign, which mirrors this year’s in aesthetic and reach, stirred up a significant amount of media controversy. Most of the response was centered around, of all things, an ad that featured model Lydia Hearst breastfeeding while dining at an upscale restaurant—the response on social was particularly negative, with many going on the gym’s Facebook page to complain.


The controversy seems to have energized both Equinox and Mr. Klein, who is continuing to provoke the pearl-clutching crowd this year with subjects that include a woman's decision to embrace a new perspective on beauty after a double mastectomy—Samantha Paige, who fought through thyroid cancer and a BRCA-1 gene mutation diagnosis to join the campaign as a model. 

Other campaign images are more narrative in bent, one photograph portraying an aristocratic woman tending to a greenhouse full of cannabis plants and another a man, obsessed with his own beauty, directing a staff that carefully grooms every part of his body. 

Equinox also began showcasing the campaign on social last week, releasing new campaign images and undertaking serious community interaction with users that join the conversation with the hashtag #CommitToSomething.

Equinox’s social media accounts have also been posting motivational messages and have been engaging in influencer outreach, entertaining sponsorships from celebrities as far-flung as reality television star Meghan James to rapper/social media savant Snoop Dogg.


Resolution marketing
Commit to Something is certainly the most artful attempt at the hearts—and wallets—of the New Year’s Resolution crowd, and will probably garner more media attention than its competitors in that arena, most of which are releasing fitness applications or redesigning existing ones, as Fitbit did last week with its new Fitstar app (see story). 

Shape Magazine also hewed more towards marketing over tech in courting New Year’s Resolutioners, helping readers start the year off right with Personal Best, a campaign that touts a mobile-optimized hub and a Facebook community to encourage users to help each other achieve their fitness goals (see story). 


“It's certainly no secret that Steven is a fearless creative with a strong point of view on social issues, so we very much wanted to continue telling the commitment narrative through his lens," said Elizabeth Nolan, executive creative director at Equinox. "This year's imagery goes even deeper to showcase his greatest strengths as a storyteller, collaborator and cultural steward." 

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Rakin Azfar is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach him at rakin@napean.com.

 
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