Gym Ad Skips the Beautiful Bodies, Goes With a Weathered Biker in His Underwear

Virgin Active promotes living 'without fear or restraint'

Fitness chain Virgin Active brings a free-spirited, born-to-be-wild attitude to this minute-long spot, showing a determined guy in underpants riding a motorbike at high speed across a dusty South African desert.

"We wanted people to look at it and see a guy who is living life how he wants, without fear or restraint," said Karmarama ecd Sam Walker, the spot's director. "It's about being active in every way, not just about exercise."

A biker attending a local rally was hired on the spot for the ad. Quick splices of big cats, rockets, clocks, blooming flowers and other offbeat imagery add a slight tone of surrealism, as does the use of Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 Choral—Molto Vivace" for the soundtrack. (Sorry, Steppenwolf.) The tagline: "Live happily ever active."

It's a welcome change from the predictable New Year's glut of gym-based ads that show hard bodies pumping iron. Kudos for breaking the cycle!