Check Out Equinox’s Perplexing New Ads

The gym’s latest promotional campaign aims to reflect the “consequences of a good workout.”

Equinox is no stranger to boundary-pushing advertisements. The gym chain’s 2013 campaign, shot by (in)famous photographer Terry Richardson, featured billboards of scantily clad women in poses suggestive enough to spark a public outcry and a petition to get the signs removed that garnered 1,000-plus signatures. Eventually Equinox did pull the ads and cut ties with Richardson, then announced it planned to take future campaigns in a more fitness-focused direction with ad agency Wieden+Kennedy New York.

In 2014, the company launched “Equinox Made Me Do It,” intended to depict the “consequences of a good workout—higher confidence and lowered inhibitions,” and takes that concept to a new level with the new year’s ads. According to the press release, the current images “convey the confidence and empowerment associated with adventure and risk-taking” and attempt to present the gym as an overall lifestyle resource.

While this campaign isn’t as overtly sexualized as the 2013 ad fiasco, the ads’ lack of anything exercise-related does leave us with one question: Equinox made you do . . . what, exactly?

Left to fill in the blanks on our own, we’ve decided to do just that. See below for what we think these ads are trying to say.

“Equinox made me marry a much younger man and have his twins, and none of us is happy about any of this.”

“Equinox made me dress in drag so I could trick people into thinking there’s a naked woman in this photo.”

“Equinox made me jump out of a plane in five-inch platform combat boots and a bathing suit.”

“Equinox made me shave my head impulsively, but at least I kind of look like Natalie Portman circa 2005.”

“Equinox made me catch this pig, which I’m just going to hold for the photo because it’s freaking cute.”

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Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.