Friday, 6 January 2012

Yes. These are for a gym.

So there is a bit of an uproar regarding the new Equinox ads that have been shot by Terry Richardson.
Equinox, as you may or may not already know is an up-scale (ish) gym chain. Gyms are supposed to promote health and fitness through an active lifestyle not an unhealthy, and I guess unattainable body image. That's the basic crux of the argument.
Obviously, it doesn't help that the photographer for the campaign is none other than Terry Richardson, who is notorious for all sorts of things. Well, not all sort, mainly degradation of females, over-sexualising stuff, and I dunno, generally being  a bit of a perv. The new Equinox campaign, is very sexual tbh. And the criticism are kinda right- the female models that have been used do not promote the healthy, fit image, but the waifish, stick thin image that really doesn't promote working out as much as it promotes starving yourself.The men are fine, muscular, chiseled-gorgeous, but the girls don't really have any muscle on them, and they are kinda prop-ish.So of people are of course throwing hissy fits over this.

On top of this criminal action of using skinnies, overtly sexual imagery, you know the kind you'd see in a perfume ad or a Tom Ford ad has been employed. So there is more cause for the people to be enraged. Yes, people go to the gym to look good, feel good, all of which promotes sexiness in its own special way, but this is kinda just putting it in everyone's face you know? Like there are other reasons, perhaps better reasons, to promote a healthy, active lifestyle rather than saying it'll get you more action and you'll look hot in skimpy clothes, which is what these ads seem to be saying.
I personally believe, its  aspirational advertising, and yes it pushes it but honestly if any brand is going to hire Terry Richardson for their campaign, be sure they are looking for some controversy you know?
And frankly speaking, the two reasons stated above are one of the reasons most young people hit the gym. I mean of course- health blah blah. But I know most guys, when they want to look like that and get that built, its cos they believe it will get them more --- . Girls, on the other, and I personally know this to be true work out to look good in all kinds of clothes. So they can wear this, or they can wear that, and not feel 'fat' in whatever they choose to wear.So, it seems like they are targeting a select audience (young people) really well. Haan, maybe for other people who believe in the higher, holier benefits of working out- you know stress releasing, calming, better metabolism, better digestion, better bones, better immunity , less prone to diseases- people who have made working out a personal form of worship  to the body that is their temple might get seriously offended that they've made their form of worship into a dirty means to a shallow end.
Could be true, but the world isn't moving like that na. People need to stop being so touchy feely about every thing. Sometimes I'm just not sure whether its  a good thing that consumers have a voice now. Its become such a catch-22 that it has become impossible to fathom whether is the consumer psyche that has been manipulated, and hence the conversation, or perhaps the conversation first and then the consumers? How much of it is planned, how much of the public's reactions have been pre-mediated? Is it all part of the brand strategy? Is the global market an experminental laboratory? Are we the mice? To what extent?
Sorry , off-topic.
My favorite ad out of the entire campaign is the man with the cup, and the copy says Victory.Love the attitude.

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