Gold’s Gym uses shock tactics to get you to work out

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Gold’s Gym uses shock tactics to get you to work out


Consumed on a consistent basis, junk food is a significant risk to health that can creep up on you. 

For some, it really is “just one slice” – but for others, one slice can slowly start to become an entire order with the unwelcome toppings of addiction and even anxiety. 

It’s a growing problem in the UK, with two-thirds of adults considered overweight or obese.  

A gym session doesn’t typically start with a warm up of junk food. The average person, with their common-sense muscle intact, knows that it’s not exactly the pre-workout meal of choice. Yet that is exactly how Gold’s Gym is trying to spur members to the gym.

The Big Idea

Gold’s Gym, and its “Transform Your Life In Just 12 Weeks” programme, wanted to use the narrative of how obesity begins and transforms as a mechanism to shock viewers into action and healthier lifestyles.

What They Did

A visual campaign, done by Dominican Republic agency CazarDDB, gave life to the idea by way of shock tactics – showing how the slippery slope can begin, whilst simultaneously showing where that slope might eventually end.

Three stories were brought to life, with each one representing a junk food being devoured by the folds of an obese body. Showing how the problem starts, to drive home the message that it can end with a Body Transformation programme.

The Review

Gold’s Gym should be applauded for engaging in a much-needed obesity discussion and trying to get ahead of the problem.

However, whilst I believe the shock value achieves its effect, I question if it really challenges and inspires those who might need the gym most.

The campaign feels somewhat restricted by its format, addiction is rarely defeated by one ad poster alone, but being able to capture so much of the narrative and message within one image is highly commendable.

I score it three for the whole campaign, four for the poster.

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Nathan Woodhead

Nathan Woodhead

  • Senior director, Creative Innovation
  • VIRTUE Worldwide
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