Did They Really Have to Go There?

Crunch has been known in the industry as a bit of an eccentric club company (see: peek-a-boo showers, pole dancing classes and cardio striptease), but the image for its recent Gym Shorts campaign is a bit of a head-scratcher.

The campaign is a noble one. It allows people to send in a short film about Crunch's "no judgments" slogan. (By the way, isn't Planet Fitness known as "the judgment-free zone?" That's for another post at another time.) People can vote on the finalists in the film contest at www.crunchgymshorts.com.

But why is there an animated picture of a pantsless guy with a pixilated private area? (Say that fast three times.) It gets your attention, sure, and maybe that's the purpose of the "We Need Shorts" drawing. But again, why go there? (And who modeled for this drawing anyway?)

This campaign comes on the heels (pun intended) of Gold's Gym's recently launched "Say No to Cankles" ad campaign. Cankles, if you don't know, is a slang term that combines "calf" and "ankle" and refers to the disproportionate amount of weight gain, mostly in obese people, between the lower leg and ankle.

"There are a lot of different awareness-type [campaigns] for everything," Lisa Zoellner, Gold's chief marketing officer, tells Adweek.com. "We thought this was a fun, lighthearted way to drive attention to a very serious issue in our country, and that's obesity."

What's going to be the next ad campaign: Say no to double chins?

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