Do Gym Ads Like This Make You Want To Join Or Run Away?

How sexy is too sexy when it comes to fitness ads?

This weekend, in between working out, cleaning, and a bunch of other not-so-glamourous activities I kept seeing racy ads from Equinox on my computer screen. But these ads weren’t very gym-like, they were more like Equinox meets Victoria’s Secret. Disclaimer: I love Equinox. It’s one of my favorite gyms because I love the classes. The quality of instructors and equipment is top-notch, and I’ve never felt uncomfortable there. But if the ads below were my only knowledge of the gym, I’d never join.

How sexy is too sexy? Do ads with skinny people in them make you want to work out or do you prefer a more subtle approach? How blatantly splashy do ads have to be in order to bring in members? If you’re considering joining a new gym, do ads of half naked women bending over pool tables make you want to work out? Perhaps, if you’re a 22-year-old frat boy (or a 30-year-old playboy).

I feel like they are clearly going for a specific clientele with these ads. They aren’t looking for just anyone. These ads say young, rich, and already in shape. If you had 50 pounds to lose, are you going to go to a gym where all the people look like this? I don’t think so. I have 10 pounds to lose and after looking at these ads, I wouldn’t want to sweat there.

Computer ads are very Big Brother now. (That’s why when you do a Google search for say, “socks”, every web page you visit for the next few days will have all kinds of tailored ads for socks.) So after visiting Equinox’s website a few times last week (because as I mentioned above, I am a fan of the gym and I write about the gym often), the ads on my computer screen all weekend were for Equinox. Here are some screenshots (below) of just a few of the ads that I had to deal with this weekend. And before you get all judgmental like I did, there is always the flip side. Does watching The Biggest Loser make you want to work out or do you watch it with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s?

What do you think? Good advertising or out-of-touch with reality?

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What do you guys think? Fun? Funny? Too much?