A self-described ‘yoga-inspired athletic apparel company’ – this is the Lululemon we’re familiar with; the retailer that leads the way when it comes to yoga wear.

But for its first ever global ad campaign, they decided to do something different.

With the help of Vice’s in-house agency, Virtue, the teams put their heads together to figure out the message that really lies behind the Canadian brand.

Launching a major campaign that includes seven short documentary-style films featuring a host of influencers – from athletes to grime stars and punk drummers – it puts yoga in the context of the wider culture, appealing to those who live life “off the mat”.

Here’s why we chose ‘This is Yoga’ as our May campaign of the month.

Lululemon 'This Is Yoga' from Paul La Calandra on Vimeo.

The Lululemon brand was widely perceived to be all about yoga and its products exclusively for those who practice it.

Setting out to challenge this perception and broaden its appeal to audiences from every walk of life, the creative teams wanted to shed some light on what yoga really is, and in turn, the brand.


Source: Lululemon

The Message

The mini-docuseries aptly shows us what yoga is all about – without showing any actual yoga.

It illustrates the values and virtues that yoga stands for including meditation, self-discipline and nonviolence, proving its worth in everyday life and the many ways it can add to it.

With the core message spread across the Lululemon website: “We’re honouring yoga in all its forms by taking practice off the mat. Practice in action leads to a purposeful life”, the campaign encourages real people to get involved, sharing their stories of how the philosophy has helped them to achieve their goals.


Source: Lululemon

Why it Worked

This is an ideal example of authentic branding in action – one that encourages real people to get involved join together in a collective celebration of health in mind and body.

‘Yoga is on the mat. It’s off the mat. It’s everywhere. We want to hear your stories. Share with us. #thisisyoga.’

Shedding new light on the real values that drive the brand, the campaign urges a shift in perceptions to “broaden the idea of what yoga is all about and hopefully expand the understanding of what the Lululemon brand is all about as well”, as Virtue founder and Vice chief strategic officer Spencer Baim told Adweek.

Honing in on their audience’s’ interests and perceptions “off the mat”, the brand could establish a bridge between them and their target consumers in the right way.

Using insights to drive a message that moves, Lululemon is proving just how powerful a campaign can be when it puts people first.

Like what you’ve read? Get inspired with more insights-driven campaigns like this.

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