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Equinox flexes ‘visceral’ element of exercise in new campaign

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By Webb Wright | Junior Reporter

January 18, 2022 | 5 min read

Luxury fitness powerhouse Equinox has launched ‘Life is the luxury,’ a new campaign which underscores the brand’s core messaging while incorporating some valuable lessons learned during the pandemic.

Equinox has launched its new ad campaign for 2022, entitled “life is the luxury.” It arrives at a time when millions of Americans are hanging up the home workouts that were necessitated by the pandemic and returning to the comfort, convenience, and sense of community offered by fitness clubs.

The title of the new campaign is an extension of “it’s not fitness, it’s life,” a core slogan that the company originally introduced in 2004, and which communicates the brand’s overarching goal of blurring the boundaries between wellness and, well, everything else. In other words: fitness isn’t a habit, like brushing one’s teeth — it’s a mindset, a lifestyle.

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Equinox dials up the community aspect of the fitness club experience.

The new ad campaign is centered around images and themes that are not commonly associated with the word “luxury.” Rather than displaying scenes of opulent material wealth, say, or actors relaxing in some high-end Caribbean spa, we see just the opposite: athletes in rugged, barren terrain, pushing themselves to their physical limits. To millions of viewers who have spent much of the past two years stuck inside small apartments, making do with claustrophobic living room workouts, these scenes of athletes running full-tilt through pristine wilderness and speed-climbing up sheer rock faces are likely to pack a powerful psychological punch — potentially inspiring them to return to a club like Equinox.

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“The focus is really to capture what Equinox feels like through these very visceral, elemental points of view that are all in these scenes across different landscapes in nature,” says Will Mayer, vice president of creative, executive creative director at Equinox. “But then the real goal is to expand that through stories of members, and through many different forms; events, activations, everything throughout the year.”

Mayer’s team filmed the new ad campaign on location in Durango, Mexico. The company recruited a roster of athletes for the shoot, including Gracie Carvalho (a model and Muay Thai fighter) and Loic Mabanza (a choreographer and lead dancer for Beyoncé).

After an extended period of forced closures, the proliferation of vaccines over the past year has enabled fitness clubs and gyms across the country to once again begin opening their doors to members. After Equinox began to reopen, Mayer says that he began to notice among the brand’s members a renewed passion and vigor for everything that Equinox had to offer — most importantly, a healthier lifestyle and a sense of community, both of which obviously became much more difficult for many people to enjoy during the darkest days of the pandemic.

“We realized that a lot of members rushed back as soon as mass restrictions dropped, just for the feeling of being in our spaces. And that was something we never realized when we were in the middle of COVID," says Mayer. "But we didn't realize how needed our clubs were to a lot of our members… a lot of our members use us basically to get passion out of their experiences. And the notion we played with is: if you give more passion, you get more life. You get a more vivid life, you get a more clear life, you get a more happy and healthy life. A lot of what we're trying to do now is just really lean on the life element. It's much less about like the core physical product and much more about life and the lifestyle we create.”

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