" We're going to create an experience that brings to life the intersection between technology, innovation and motivation, empowering and enabling a high-performance lifestyle."
A Gamified Cycling Experience That Relies on Teamwork
Equinox, the high-end fitness club whose motto is “It’s not fitness, it’s life,” launched its new data-driven cycling class, The Pursuit by Equinox at the 2015 South by Southwest festival, the prestigious Austin-based emerging technology conference.
Equinox’s mandate for this activation of the cycling class, which uses groundbreaking in-studio gaming and data visualization to drive competition and peak performance, was to “create an experience that brings to life the intersection between technology, innovation and motivation, empowering and enabling a high-performance lifestyle.”
Equinox wanted their first-ever experiential activation to 'wow' visitors in a way that makes them rethink what fitness is all about, reinforcing Equinox as a holistic lifestyle brand that also successfully integrates technology into its package.
“It’s all about the harmonious intersection between technology and a high-performance lifestyle.”
What We Heard The Client Say
We are speaking to a discerning audience that has seen everything, and been everywhere. We need to impress them in a way that makes them rethink what fitness technology is all about. Let's create a conducive and energy driven atmosphere that brings out the essence of ‘The Pursuit by Equinox’.
Design an environment that facilitates an experience for two groups: a participating, and an observing audience. Create an environment that is optimized for photography, sharability, and social media exposure.
Finally, reinforce Equinox as a holistic lifestyle brand that has successfully integrated technology into the mix.
Looking to the Equinox brand for inspiration, we placed the letter “O,” featured in Equinox’s logo, at the center of the audience experience. It was all about harmony, the wheel of the bicycle, the spinning motion that comes with the burning of calories.
We commenced the process by returning to the roots of the Equinox brand. Rather than ‘reinventing the wheel’, we transformed it into the center of the event experience. The heart of it all. We considered the brand’s three core values of Motivation, Nutrition and Technology as we envisioned the event space, and what resulted was a structure that reflected a sense of seamlessness. We wanted it to be organic, cyclical, and malleable.
We also considered structures that were iconic, futuristic and most importantly, stand out in a busy and competitive festival environment.
The final design took the form of an intimate 900-square- foot, in-the-round environment structured to support both the “Ride” and the “Tour” components of the activation.
Positioned in an arc surrounding the instructor’s central cycle, the four “Ride” participants’ bikes faced a 20-foot-wide by six-foot-high LCD screen that relayed real-time data as they experienced a 9-minute live demo of the class. This data enabled the cyclists to monitor their performances individually and in competition with their classmates.
The “Tour” component allowed observers to engage with the live demo via an interactive presentation, guided by Equinox brand ambassadors, on iPads linked via Apple TV to LCD TVs encircling the space.
3,000 guests visited the Equinox space during the 5-day activation. 100 riders experienced The Pursuit by Equinox firsthand, riding 355 collective miles. Equinox contributed $12K (one dollar for every mile pedaled) to Cycle for Survival.
The social-media conversation surrounding Equinox at SXSW more than doubled from 2014: Featured in AdWeek and tweeted by Drum, the #EQXPursuit debut was responsible for 1.6K engagements via Twitter, producing 94K in earned reach.
Instagram engagements were up 54% from 2014, producing an estimated 30.6K impressions. Total Equinox-related tweets were up 111% from the previous year. Designated “Best Way to Break a Sweat,” the activation was included in Best of SXSW Experiential Marketing on PSFK.com.
Environmental Design & Creative Direction: Lee Changzhi
Progamming Digital Interface: R/GA New Yotk
Venue: SXSW 2015 Festival, Austin, Texas