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Judging Equinox’s Sex-Themed Ads

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Equinox Fitness’ latest series of sex-themed ads (pictured) have garnered some critical praise after appearences in Vanity Fair, US Weekly and The New York Post. But have the ads, made by the Fallon firm worked? Ad Age reports:

Fallon hired Paris fashion photographer and director Ellen van Unwerth to shoot the campaign. The photos focus on four themes: female and male sexual fantasy, inner beauty and eternal youth. They all carry sexual overtones, from three nuns painting a nude male model in a David-like pose to women eating fruit off a man’s stomach.

“We wanted it to be visually arresting enough so people will understand and take note of the campaign,” Ms. Benjamin said.

Though the ads have generated the predictable media buzz, feedback has been somewhat mixed. Some have praised the campaign for being sexy, bold and edgy; critics say the ads are too racy and that they don’t explicitly say what Equinox is or what it offers. The chain has had to placate some members who misunderstood the ads’ intent.

Getting to the gist of things: They’re advertisements for a gym chain that don’t contain any reference to fitness at all. Yet they’re working.

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