Lululemon has long been a lifestyle brand, famous for its athleisure and athletic gear. From their visual branding to the classes they hold in store, Lululemon has been synonymous with sweating your way to health and happiness in high performance, fashionable kit. The brand’s latest campaign takes a step beyond offering a lifestyle, however: now, it is selling a philosophy.
This is perhaps a savvy response to spreading questions about social media’s role in distorting the essence of yoga. Here, it’s clear that yoga is not about contorting your body, showing off, or making a fashion statement for the sake of it. There is much more to it than that. To be precise, there is breath, meditation, letting go; non-violence; self-discipline; self-discovery; trust; devotion; joy; compassion; humility; generosity; patience; concentration; purity and acceptance. This, Lululemon tells us, is Yoga.
A radical step for a sports brand?
It might be daring to emphasise the psychological/spiritual dimensions of the brand’s focus activity over the physical, but in a fitness context predominated by the subject of mind-body practices, it’s a smart and timely move.
In that it curates of a set of values and ethics (taken from the Eight Limbed approach that formed the basis of Ashtanga Yoga), Lululemon’s advert possesses a tribalism that will resonate. The video’s featured characters come from a variety of walks of life – creative, sporting, professional – but the campaign draws them together by highlighting the admirable values they share. And, most importantly, inspired by the dynamism of all this, we are implicitly invited to share them, too.
Because these days, we all know it’s our mission to find our tribe.
The question is, how will the tribe respond?
Kerri Walsh Jennings, an Olympic athlete featured in the Ad campaign, responds to a Q&A here.