Samsung’s New Year’s Campaign Reminds Us That Working Out Is Actually Pretty Weird

Light, motivational fun from Wieden + Kennedy

Given the number of exercise-themed ads and well-toned models gracing our screens every day, it's quite easy to forget that voluntary exercise is a relatively new phenomenon. The first "gymnasiums" opened in Persia 3,000 years ago, but recreational workouts as we know them today didn't get popular until the jogging and aerobics crazes of the '70s and '80s and the gym industry boom of later years.

A new campaign promoting Samsung's Galaxy S7 + Gear Fit2 watch reminds viewers that the very idea of setting aside time to gather in a common space and force ourselves to do physically uncomfortable things in the interest of improving our health and appearance is actually pretty damn weird.

No, really. Think about it.

Each January, frequent gym-goers roll their eyes at the newbies who joined as part of a New Year's resolution that often ends in February. But in the next spot, Wieden + Kennedy Portland pokes fun at the fact that this happens outside your local Equinox as well—and it can be a recurring struggle for regular Joes.

In the final ad, fantasy and reality meet on a Manhattan street corner; awkwardness ensues.

Wieden + Kennedy has taken a similar "how weird is this" creative tack in the past, most prominently with ESPN's "It's Not Crazy, It's Sports" campaign. One may note the dramatic difference between the men trying valiantly to lose a few pounds in the "Honey" and "Mannequin" spots above with the extremely idealized figures in W+K's most recent work for Equinox.

This comparison also serves to illustrate how the exercise industry has changed over the past 30-plus years, moving from Jane Fonda's VHS aerobics to "luxury gyms" complete with spas, juice bars and "gleaming white bathrooms with fluffy towels."

That said, Samsung has a clear message regarding the Galaxy S7 + Gear Fit2: It can help you organize your workout and stick to a plan whether you're a rough Tough Mudder or a (very) reluctant runner.

CREDITS

Client: Samsung

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland

Ad: "Working Out Is Crazy"

Group Creative Director: Craig Allen

Creative Directors: Tim Roan, Micah Walker   

Copywriter: Derek Szynal   

Art Director: Robert Kendall   

Executive Producer: Erika Madison   

Producer: Jules Brown   

Account Director: Mimi St. Gelais   

Management Supervisor: Drew Widell   

Account Executives: Tori Misell, Megan Riehl    

Assistant Account Executive: Michael Devine   

Group Strategy Director: Bruno Frankel   

Strategy Director: Tom Suharto   

Junior Strategist: Jordan Aftanas   

Project Management: Amanda Rudolph   

Business Affairs: Karen Crossley, Amber Lavender    

Art Producer: Heather Hanrahan   

Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff, Joe Staples, Susan Hoffman 

Production Company: MJZ   

Director: Steve Ayson   

President: David Zander   

Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson   

Producer: Laurie Boccaccio   

Production Supervisor: Yianni Papadopoulos  

Editorial: Final Cut

Editor: Crispin Struthers

Executive Producer: Eric McCasline

Head of Production: Suzy Ramirez

Producer: Ana Orrach

Assistant Editor: Zoe Schack

 

VFX Company: The Mill    

Colourist: Adam Scott   

2D Lead Artist: Adam Lambert   

Producer: Daniel Midgley   

Associate Producer: Karina Slater   

VFX Supervisor: Kathy Siegel  

Sound Company: duotone audio group   

Managing Director: David Leinheardt   

Executive Producer: Ross Hopman   

Creative Director: Jack Livesey   

Producer: Gio Lobato 

Mix Company: Lime Studios   

Mixer: Loren Silber   

Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan   

Audio Assistant: Mark Nieto 

Ads: "Honey," "Mannequin"

Group Creative Director: Craig Allen

Creative Directors: Tim Roan, Micah Walker    

Copywriter: Reuben Hower

Honey: Andy Ferguson

Mannequin: Derek Szynal   

Art Director: Aramis Israel

Honey: Brandon Mugar