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Lululemon Communicates Brand Personality

I’m a student of marketing and always happy when companies communicate their brand personality appropriately and seamlessly. When a company knows its brand personality it becomes easy for them to confidently share these brand attributes to others. Lululemon has done this very well in their ad featured in the Georgia Straight (March 27th, 2008).

Introducing the Mansy!

humor_used_well.jpg

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March 28, 2008 - Posted by | marketing | , , , , , , ,

16 Comments »

  1. My initial reaction was – and in this order:
    – A Lululemon full page ad? They never do full page print ads. That’s different. Someone new must be handling their advertising.
    – Oooooh. Gross. Nice buff body, but not even that can save him from the visual tragedy and the reason why women never want their man to wear a Speedo. Too much information on the high leg cut.
    – Maybe it’s a subtle target at the gay community?
    – Oh, it’s available April 1st. This must be a joke. Maybe.
    – So even if it is a joke, why are they doing this? To provoke talk? Free publicity?
    – If it is a joke and a publicity stunt, how does the humour speak to the target group? (It seems to be male centered humour, not female. Last time I checked, although their target is both men and women, they definitely skew female. Women will look at this and say, what were they thinking?
    – Oh my God, maybe it isn’t a joke. I might actually see a guy wearing it. Why am I feeling uncomfortable?
    – I’m still scratching my head on this one. It’s such a departure from their core message and who their target is.

    So far, here’s my conclusion (as of Mar 27, since this may well be the beginning of a series of ads that do end up in the right place with this as a provocative beginning – let’s hope)
    – Someone new is doing their advertising work. They may be doing some work pro bono. They’ve done it for free and made it cutting edge so they can prove to Lululemon that they can generate publicity and talk.
    – They’ve made it cutting edge because they want to enter it in an awards show
    – Male creative directors will love it and shower them in awards. There will be a lot of back slapping and jokes about how brilliant it was.
    – The women in the room, and a large part of the target group, should Lululemon actually care about how advertising
    drives sales, will scratch their heads and wonder what happened to the brand that they thought they had such an emotional connection with?

    I’m standing by waiting to see where this goes. It’s obviously the beginning of something.

    Comment by Mary Charleson | March 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. This is the gayest shit I’ve ever seen…

    Comment by Richard Pearson | March 28, 2008 | Reply

  3. This just underlines what I’ve always felt about Lululemon.
    That it’s a faddish cult.
    Talk about brainwashing. First they somehow convince people to foolishly wear their yoga togs all the live long day, and now they seem to be trying to make you look a fool while doing your yoga.
    This is not fashion people, it’s trendy good quality wearable athletic gear.
    Yikes!

    Comment by Fran | March 29, 2008 | Reply

  4. I did call Lululemon and asked them in what sizes and colours the mansy came in… They came clean and they said it was an April Fool’s Prank. I told the “educational” consultant I was really disappointed because I had the body and the confidence to pull off a mansy… Well not just ANYONE can well Lululemon… She said product development would be informed of this “real” demand…

    Comment by Richard Pearson | March 29, 2008 | Reply

  5. Way to get to the bottom of this Richard! Other bloggers ought to just pick up the phone, get in the warrior 1, and try to order one. Awesome! It’d be great to order some Mansies. Perhaps the PD dept will listen. Or, should we all call? Just imagine a class in downward dog wearing Mansies. yikes!

    Comment by Lori | April 1, 2008 | Reply

  6. Good points everyone regarding the Lululemon ad. As far as what Mary mentions about whether Lululemon is on target with appealing to a female audience – I’m not sure, I feel that this ad offends or putts off a female audience. Lululemon has always positioned itself as a lifestyle brand that encourages people to live well balanced lives. In this case, Lululemon’s brand personality has attempted to say “we are well balanced, fun, and we can make fun of ourselves”.

    For the record, I’m not a huge proponent of entirely everything that Lululemon represents. However, in this case, I am happy to see that this company is daring enough to take a risk and let their brand represent more than just wealth, power, and other common sentiments that try to convince the consumer to buy their brand.

    Comment by teamak | April 1, 2008 | Reply

  7. I agree with Fran’s comment that yes…Lululemon is definitely not fashion! I say this to all Canadians who still continually struggle to find a new casual that doesn’t involve Uggs and Lululemon pants. I just heard from an associate of mine that a well known Canadian fashion magazine is shooting a story that shows readers how to wear pajama bottoms with blazers – uh…NO! Let’s step it up here!

    Comment by teamak | April 1, 2008 | Reply

  8. As far as calling Lululemon is concerned Richard and Lori, I say go for it. If you’re really curious ask to hear directly from their creative director or whoever came up with the ad. I’m sure they’d give some interesting insight as to what the strategy was behind the ad.

    Comment by teamak | April 1, 2008 | Reply

  9. I think its funny, first it made me confused, then it made me smile. Thats what April Fool’s is all about. Sometimes things in life just really are confusing, or funny. I love the ad, and I love that thanks to Lululemon, something unexpected happened to me today.

    Comment by Gia | April 1, 2008 | Reply

  10. If everybody in class had mansies on doing downward dog & I was in the back of the yoga studio I’d be thinking “CRACK A DOODLE DOOOOOOO!!!”

    Comment by Melinda Stacy | April 1, 2008 | Reply

  11. I’m surprised people thought Lululemon would actually market something like this. Especially since they are slowly coming out with more men’s clothing (I’m wearing my lulu right now actually) and I hope they don’t want to scare guys away or offend others πŸ˜‰

    *shrug* I thought it was funny anyway.

    Comment by Tyler Ingram | April 1, 2008 | Reply

  12. Cheers to Lululemon for making people think hmmmmmmmm……is this for real or is it April fools?!! Very CLEVER!!!

    Comment by Melle | April 1, 2008 | Reply

  13. Hey did you know that Lululemon has a new CEO – Christine Day. Maybe the ‘mansie’ was nothing more than a publicity stunt to preceed Day’s announcement as the new CEO?

    Comment by Rachelle Arcaro | April 3, 2008 | Reply

  14. Tyler you make a good point. As far as brand management is concerned…is this joke going a little too far in terms of putting off any potential male customers. Athletic, active men may be secure enough to wear Lululemon (a predominantly female brand) but this joke may be reinforcing a sort of “airy-fairy” feel to their brand.

    Comment by teamak | April 3, 2008 | Reply

  15. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation πŸ™‚ Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Undermost.

    Comment by Undermost | June 19, 2008 | Reply

  16. I don’t know, requires some grooming and will look good…. on some.

    Comment by Eyeliah | March 28, 2009 | Reply


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