Make Yourself A Gift to The World 2020 Ad Campaign
Can self-obsession be a good thing? With the ubiquity of social media and the cultural status of the “influencer,” it seems more and more that image is essential, that the way one presents themself to the world also determines one’s value in it. Thus, people become obsessed with image; they turn away from everything other than their own self in order to increase the value of this self. But this value only arises from a social relationship, and image must be seen by others. Self-obsession, though deeply personal, actually occupies a social space, and exists both because and for the sake of others.
Equinox explores these questions in their latest ad campaign. Grounded in the mantra “make yourself a gift to the world,” the campaign celebrates the possibilities of self-improvement through photography by Glen Luchford and a video directed by renowned creative Floria Sigismondi. Luchford’s rich photographs evoke a sense of power and self-efficacy and seem to emphasize the mutually beneficial relationship between self and other.
Sigismondi’s film takes this idea further, boldly asking the question, “If self-obsession turns you into a gift, not just to yourself but a gift to the world, does that not make self-obsession the most selfless act of all?” The question is audacious and even seems to celebrate vanity. Especially in the context of the film’s retelling of the story of Narcissus, it suggests that self-improvement is only meaningful because it benefits others, and that one can only benefit others by being beautiful. But there is a self-awareness here, a sense of irony that offsets the apparent callousness of the message. The ridiculousness of the film’s self-fetishizing and final dance montage points to the absurdity of pure self-obsession and instead argues that selflessness is essential for self-improvement, rather than the other way around. In order to become better people with fuller lives, we must begin with caring for the people and lives around us.
With this campaign, Equinox shows they are keyed into the broader cultural atmosphere while also staying true to themselves. They explore themes of vanity and representation that are essential topics in today’s conversation around media and consumerism and are able to conclude with a message that honors their principle of community.
Equinox CMO | Seth Solomons Agency | Droga5 Creative Director | Director | Floria Sigismondi Director of Photography | Adam Newport-Berra Photographer | Glen Luchford Stylist | Karen Langley Hair | Paul Hanlon Makeup | Lucia Pieroni Production | Believe Media Music | Do You? by TroyBoi