Premium fitness chain Equinox pulled a stunt on Sunday announcing it would not accept new members on Jan. 1, 2023.
“January is a language we don’t understand,” read a post from Equinox. “A fantasy, delivered to your door in a pastel colored box. It talks about change. It wants you to start something when you should be in the middle of it. It thinks time is on its side. It needs a new outfit before it can begin. Stalling, short-cutting, giving up.”
The message was met with much criticism and some support. Various social media users accused the brand of shaming people for hoping to start 2023 on a healthier, more active note, while others called the move exclusionary—or bold.
According to marketing and media agency publication the Drum, the advertising campaign was developed with the Collins agency. Brian Collins, who worked on the concept, said it was developed as a way to “snub short-term resolutions.”
Will Mayer, vice president and executive creative director of Equinox, said the move was intended to question the “norms of the wellness industry.”
The brand also launched ads via its clubs throughout the country, and with billboards in major cities. “January promises and doesn’t deliver, we don’t speak January,” reads one. Another says, “January will not text you back next month, we don’t speak January.” One more, highlighted by the Drum, asks, “Why does January always want to start next week?”