Equinox ads, you might think they are for shoes or lingerie. The glossy photos were taken by famous photographerTerry Richardson,and were supposed to promote high-end gym chain Equinox.
The ads should promote luxury fitness, which is ironic since none of the ultra-thin fashion models are doing any real athletic activity. Instead, the female models are draped around ultra-fit nude male ones. However the target audience consists of well-heeled professionals – in their 30s, 40s and 50s as well as baby boomers. It is therefore doubtful that the ads will appeal to them.
Equinox hired ad agencies Wieden+Kennedy New York and R/GA to go edgy. According to insiders, Equinox paid R/GA $8m to overhaul Equinox’s digital platform and blog,
It is not the first time that Equinox went for edgy marketing. It hired fashion photographers Steven Klein, Gilles Bensimon and Ellen von Unwerth for previous ad campaigns.
Due to public backlash, Equinox decided to pull the ads and go for a mainstream, sportier look. Equinox creative director Liz Nolantried to downplay the debacle by stating: “We worked with Terry Richardson for three extremely successful campaigns. The natural point has now come to explore a fresh direction, and we’re really excited to launch a provocative new brand campaign in January 2014.”
Photographer Richardson has since moved on and directed Miley Cyrus in her controversial “Wrecking Ball” music video.