In Equinox’s New Year’s campaign, narcissism becomes a character strength and not a flaw. The fitness brand has made an annual habit out of running provocative campaigns, and this year is no different. The new push, “Make yourself a gift to the world,” takes self-obsession to a new level with the idea that spending time improving yourself, physically, mentally and spiritually, is in your best interest.
“If you are your best self, whatever self that is, you’re going to be your best for the world,” says Seth Solomons, who joined Equinox as chief marketing officer in May from Wunderman. “Unfortunately, there is a whole lot of negative in certain places, but also this extreme optimism around making sure that you are your best self, and that comes out of what we do every day.”
As part of the campaign, a nearly two-minute-long anthem video, “The Most Selfless Act of All,” shows schoolchildren visiting a museum. There, their teacher talks about the importance of self-love, which turns one man into a gift for others. Floria Sigismondi directed the video, while Glen Luchford shot photos for the campaign.
"The recognition is that at the end of the day, his gift is the most selfless act of all," says Solomons.
Though Solomons expects that the new campaign has the potential to be multi-year, he says Equinox will continue to use its current overarching tagline, “It’s not fitness, it’s life.” The new effort will roll out across clubs, online, in print and in out-of-home.
The new work is Equinox’s first from Droga5, its new agency of record. When he started at Equinox last year, Solomons reached out to a few agencies with a brief and quickly selected Droga5 to help with strategy and create the new campaign. Last year, Equinox created its New Year’s campaign internally with Ranaverse on production duties. In 2018, the brand worked with Wieden & Kennedy.
The budget for the new campaign is comparable to previous years, Solomons says, but noted that while January is the biggest push, the campaign will show up at least three or four other times throughout the year.
Find out more about wellness trends and Equinox's strategy at Ad Age Next: Health and Wellness on Feb. 6. Buy your ticket here.