Why Equinox’s January campaign succeeded in its calculated controversy

When your brand stands for something, that means it can’t stand for everything.

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Equinox employed a risky but successful strategy

I saw the outrage for the TikTok video before I ever saw the original.

Users — some regular folks, some professional trainers — were outraged about a video Equinox has created, celebrating the fact that it didn’t allow new memberships on Jan. 1 in a bid to counter the rush of resolutioners hoping to lose weight in 2023.

The TikTok chorus called it gatekeeping. Called it exclusive. Called it discouraging to people just trying to get in shape.



Are they wrong?

Not really. But that’s actually OK.

Who is your customer?

Even though Equinox ultimately deleted the offending TikTok, they didn’t cancel their “We Don’t Speak January” campaign.

It’s not you, it’s January. #ItsNotFitnessItsLife pic.twitter.com/Bg6lBnSUR2

— Equinox (@Equinox) January 1, 2023

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