US gym chain Equinox has courted controversy on social media with a risqué print, digital and outdoor campaign showing Lydia Hearst breastfeeding twins.
Looking to get Americans back to the gym in 2016, the campaign from Wieden + Kennedy New York, urges viewers to ‘Commit to Something’ – accompanied by seven visuals addressing issues including activism, sexuality, lifestyle choices and women's rights.
Hearst’s entry provoked the strongest reaction from individuals on both sides of the breastfeeding debate, sparking dialogue and bringing the gym into the limelight as it had no doubt intended upon the conception of the creative.
Carlos Becil, Equinox chief marketing officer, said: “Equinox is about commitment, we are obsessed with it, and we challenge our members to know who they are and what they want. It's not just about fitness - it's about life.
“The concept of commitment is bold, incredibly powerful, and it's real, especially in a world today where commitment is lacking.”
Defending the campaign, photographer Steven Klein admitted it was his intention to evoke a reaction from viewers: “It is the responsibility of advertising to communicate modern times and social issues.
“This campaign addresses today's issues and social commentaries, which is a powerful approach instead of portraying people as superficial objects with no narrative.”
— Equinox (@Equinox) January 5, 2016