Having dared to click on the link, I thought it would bring me to some sort of S&M site that I would immediately regret but in the interest of advertising I clicked though. What I found is that it is an ad for Equinox, a chain of fitness clubs located across the US, London and Toronto. Equinox’s website is beautiful, upscale and professional and it certainly does not convey the same tone and manner of this banner ad. In fact, there is no reference to “Dominance” of any sort. Makes the marketer in me really question “What the heck?”
I think they were going for edgy and by the looks of the photo, certainly bent a little too forward to achieve it. With the risk of being known as the other kind of “health club”, the kind that makes the wrong kind of press, this ad is a little too risky and clearly out of brand character–a turn off instead of a turn on.
Equinox’s GWH Reality Check? Sometimes too edgy will throw your brand completely overboard. I vote this ad a FLOP in GW Hoffman! WTF* (*Winners-Toss Ups-Flops) awards. What do you think?