Equinox just released the best Fashion ad this year - all 16 days thus far. In the short video, entitled, Equinox Made Me Do It, you’ll find a disheveled man in a tux climbing a fence, a woman straight out of a Gucci or Louis Vuitton print ad rowing away from something hurriedly, and a number of other scenarios in which beautiful, well-quaffed individuals are escaping trouble via their physical perfection. It’s like a combination of every luxury ad pulled from GQ and Vogue into one 52 second spot.
And it’s for a gym.
Does this mean that gyms have transformed into something other than the place you go to sweat? Absolutely not. But what it does mean is that branding, and in this case the branding of a luxury-tier chain of gyms, has become, at least, if not more important than the thing itself that is actually being sold.
And while this has been true for Fashion for some time now - shouts out to “Made by Prada” tags replacing “Made in Italy” ones - the direct approach to marketing to fashion savvy-consumers, instead of fitness-savvy ones, is somewhat novel.
Equinox has been on this path for a while now, as it’s partnered with Details for their Q by Equinox blog, and with Mr. Porter for a video series in the past, in addition to carrying brands like Y-3 and James Perse in their stores. But whereas before it was fitness courting fashion, that line has ceased to exist. Equinox has, through its innovative use of branding, solidified itself as The Fashion Gym.
This all makes sense - the physique required to wear most high fashion clothing definitely begs the use of a gym (or caloric restriction), and the rest of the fashion community has been heading in the same direction for a minute now (think: Rick for Adidas, which according to Owens, is actually meant to be used for exercise (even if the design screams otherwise) and Nike’s popular Gyakosou running line).
The take away from all of this - other than that all other gyms are now officially basic as fuck? Mainly, that branding can be more than a way to get consumers to remember your name and product, but a way to create whole new genres of goods and services for a whole new sector that suddenly demands them, much like Equinox has done.