Did Equinox Just Make the Most Artsy Fitness Ads of All Time?

'Want It All' = high concept

Fitness ads in January are as common as a few extra inches around the middle. But luxe gym Equinox breaks the mold with unexpected, visually-dynamic work that approaches parody but succeeds on its own terms.

In "Want It All," vibrant imagery abounds. Octopi, sweat, faces in fishnets, brief nudity and lips stuffed with ruby-wet pomegranates vie for our attention.

Equinox | Want It All

Initially, we wondered if the initiative, developed with Chandelier Creative, was just another goof on pretentious advertising. Apparently, that's not the case. Though the campaign works as both straight-ahead marketing and ironic commentary (intentional or otherwise).

"Each vignette needed to elicit an emotion, to feel tangible, visceral, and just abstract enough to allow the viewer to suspend their associations and embrace a deeper and more elemental form of desire," Equinox VP, ECD Will Mayer tells Muse. "We wanted to highlight the duality of desire in a way that focused on feelings and tensions. [To illustrate] How our daily pursuits are guided by these principles—innate desires, not surface-level status symbols."

Along with the video above, OOH will break across New York, California, Texas, London and markets in Canada. Photographer Zhong Lin and cinematographer Stuart Winecoff contributed to the ads' eye-popping style.

Though the work may pop on social, "We are not interested in a 'like'—we're interested in evoking a feeling," Mayer says. "Desire is not passive, nor are those who engage with our material. This campaign highlights a life lived, not seen through a screen." 

The target audience consists of "those who voraciously pursue or those who will see this creative and in turn feel seen."

But why pomegranates?

"In Greek mythology, pomegranates are often associated with the myth of Persephone and Hades, symbolizing life, regeneration and the cycle of the seasons. Some historians believe the apple Eve was given in the Garden of Eden was actually a pomegranate," Mayer says.

"Luckily for us, this loaded visual metaphor is also uniquely beautiful and provocative, a perfect stand for more desire."

Equinox has memorably explored such themes before, evoking legends and symbols in this notoriously narcissist campaign from 2020. That one rocked a coffin, stirring some controversy. Maybe the new work's "restraint" angle will unleash extra buzz this time around.


Equinox VP, Executive Creative Director: Will Mayer
Equinox CMO: Jeff De Korte
Agency: Chandelier Creative
Photographer: Zhong Lin
Director / DP: Stuart Winecoff
Stylist: Haley Wollens
Set Design: Andrew Lim Clarkson
Hair: Tsuki
Makeup: Michaela Bosch
Movement Director: Pat Boguslawski
Music Composer: Doss

David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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