Facing the New Year with a list of resolutions that may include a return to the gym, a three-minute plank, or finally nailing that handstand?
If so, Equinox wants nothing to do with you. In its new "We Don't Speak January" campaign, it wants to reinforce its belief that members value commitment, not resolutions. And it's backing it up with a hard-core refusal: It won't even accept new memberships on Jan. 1.
"Equinox has always believed that it's not fitness, it's life," says Will Mayer, Equinox's vice president of global creative and brand. "We believe high-performance living never stops."
The campaign includes the gym's largest out-of-home activation yet and print ads in the New York Times, with Equinox's lofty new manifesto: "January is a language we don't understand. It talks about change…It thinks time is on its side. Stalling, short-cutting, giving up. We don't speak January."
January is typically when there's a big increase in gym memberships, as non-exercisers vow to get back in shape and room-temperature athletes look to turn up the heat. And while attendance is typically strong in the early weeks of the year, that tends to fall off sharply.
Not at Equinox, which boasts that even in the summer, it typically sees less than a 5% decline.
Mayer isn't worried that the approach might turn off the millions of people who believe in resolutions. "We are not for everyone," he tells Marketing Daily in an email. "Our campaign will resonate with and inspire those who believe in commitment over resolutions. It's not a once-a-year occurrence. It happens every single day."
He says the campaign will continue to evolve throughout the year.
Equinox, which has over 100 clubs, worked with agency Collins to create the ads. The media plan includes print, digital display, video, paid social, and out-of-home in New York and Los Angeles.
Mayer says club members aren't losing their enthusiasm for in-gym workouts. "Members are excited to be back in our clubs and are more committed than ever," he says. "They want it all and understand that this is a lifestyle commitment, always calling you beyond where you are right now. Achievement is found in the extremes, and change is a constant companion."