June 27, 2017

This Is (Not Actually) Yoga

“This Is Yoga” is the tagline featured in Lululemon’s first global ad campaign. Ironically, it depicts no actual yoga.

The commercial features DJ’s, martial artists and surfers sporting Lulu, and seems pretty intense for a brand toted by well-to-do soccer moms. And the bags that hold their lunch.

The fast-cut, slow-mo to sped up production mirrors classic sport-gear campaigns (or beer? hip SUVs? millennial-targeted shtuff?) On-screen inspirational copy aims to say “Hey, we aren’t just a trend — we’re real gear. Please take us seriously.” Meh-be.

The North Face and Patagonia have run down this path before. Authentic active brands that then expand. Lulu is looking to reposition and remind consumers, outside of the Namaste chanting mavens, where they came from, and where they’re going.
But Lulu has already gained broad appeal outside of the yoga community. So this could be a bridge too far – and far less cool.

The challenge of brands like Lulu is gaining that mainstream audience without losing what gave them credibility in the first place. Too much effort for a brand to remind customers of the cool, quality, and authenticity behind the logo? Will Lulu fall to the wayside as the next trademark that finds its way into the TJ Racks? Downward, dog! We’ll wait, and plank, and see.