Gym’s ‘Sex Appeal’ Marketing Video Attracts Online Debate, Conspiracy Theories


Source: @afchaichee on TikTok

Anytime Fitness Chai Chee (@afchaichee) became a topic of contention for netizens recently due to the way they promoted the opening of their new outlet by using young women at the forefront. In their promotional videos, these ladies were seen working out in their gym outfits and acting as weight plates on a barbell as a man does his bench press workout.

The video attracted plenty of views, ranging from 148k to 180k. In a bid to avoid negative comments, they turned off their comments section, but users instead made response videos to give their perspectives on the unorthodox marketing strategy.


In one such video, Sindhu Mohan (@thesindhu), a social media coach who teaches small businesses how to grow their social media accounts and increase their revenue, argued that most brands prioritise views in marketing when the emphasis should be placed on the content containing the elements of what they stand for or believe in.

She added that releasing marketing content without prior review can create bad publicity which will reflect negatively on the brand resulting in counterproductive marketing.


While many supported her view, some netizens disagreed with her and believed that publicity is king for businesses like Anytime Fitness regardless of its ethical concerns especially since their main source of revenue is from membership sign-ups and strong brand awareness is needed to attract potential members.

Source: @thesindhu on TikTok

Source: @thesindhu on TikTok

In one of the top liked comments to Sindhu’s video, @Shaunniboy pointed out that Anytime Fitness’ marketing stunt was essentially objectifying women.

Source: @thesindhu on TikTok

In another light, TikToker, Tanner (@tannertonner), tried to dissect the matter and understand why netizens started criticising their marketing method only now when the videos were released all the way back in May this year.

He devised a conspiracy theory where people are paid to spread hate about their marketing style to garner interest in their gym.


His viewers bought his explanation, believing that it was a genuine marketing strategy.

Source: @tannertonner on TikTok

Source: @tannertonner on TikTok

Anytime Fitness is not the first company to have generated such controversy. Mr Mookata Bugis was also involved in a similar situation when they promoted shirtless and athletic men to serve food in their restaurant back in January this year. While the debate on whether sex sells rages on in the comments sections, there’s no doubt this business strategy will become obsolete anytime soon.

Source: Mothership


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