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


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.


Client: Samsung
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland

Ad: "Working Out Is Crazy"

Creative Directors: Craig Allen, 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: Laurie Holtz   
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 Company: Final Cut   
Head of Production: Suzy Ramirez   
Editor: Crispin Struthers   
Producer: Ana Orrach 
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"

Creative Directors: Craig Allen, Tim Roan, Micah Walker    
Copywriter: Reuben Hower
Honey: Andy Ferguson
Mannequin: Derek Szynal   
Art Director: Aramis Isreal
Honey: Brandon Mugar
Mannequin: Rob Kendall   
Executive Producer: Erika Madison   
Producer: Ricara Stokes    
Account Director: Mimi St. Gelais   
Management Supervisor: Drew Widell    
Account Executive: Megan Riehl   
Assistant Account Executive: Michael Devine   
Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff, Joe Staples, Susan Hoffman    
Strategist: Bruno Frankel   
Project Management: Amanda Rudolph   
Business Affairs: Anna Beth Nagel, Amber Lavender    
Art Producer: Grace Petrenka 
Production Company: Furlined   
Director: Nick Ball   
Senior Executive Producer: David Thorne   
Head of Production: Rebecca Davis   
Executive Producer: Steve Ross   
Producer: Karen Chen 

Editorial Company: Arcade   
Editor: Geoff Hounsell   
Assistant Editor: Laura Sanford/Andy Trecki   
Executive Producer: Crissy DeSimone   
Producer: Leah Carnahan, Adam Becht  

VFX Company: Timber   
Executive Producer: Sabrina Elizondo   
Producer: Lauren Loftus 
Mannequin: "Hello New Day" by Johnson & Drake
Honey – "Jeans On" by David Dundas    

Sound Company: Walker
Mix Company: Lime  
Mixer: Sam Casas  
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan 

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