3.7
April 20, 2009

Sex Sells—Yoga.

Fourth in a Series: This is What Effective Advertising Looks Like.

Kathryn Budig is blond (usually). She’s unusually lovely—like Seane Corn, she’s a yoga teacher built for American media. She’s accessible, fun, friendly, down to earth—and sexy.

Particularly with her clothes off. It’s news to no one that sex sells. In fact, it’s advertising’s oldest adage.

And so, in a crowded advertising market, Toesox (100% organic cotton, we like)—and Hard Tail, but that’s another story—have doubled down on yoga and raised you sex.

Still, sexual appeal can be a turn off when your market is 85% women—it can come off as cheap, sleazy, patriarchal, shallow, frivolous—something you don’t want to do with a demographic that would never call itself a demographic, but prefers community, kula, sangha.

Yoga practitioners, by and large, regard yoga as something more than exercise, and something less than religion. So it’s a tricky market to win with an ad, when said market has, by and large, got mixed feelings when it comes to commercializing their practice, and consumption generally.

That’s where Jasper Johal comes in. A photographer with an eye for the naked human form that goes beyond lech and harkens back to art class—to greco-roman appreciation for form and beauty—his photos capture a stillness and exertion that lies at the heart of yoga practice. He and Kathryn (and Toesox, it seems) are of their demographic—so they can go out on a limb with conventionally outrageous advertising that offends no yogi and catches the eye of every reader.

 

And that’s…what effective advertising looks like.

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~w.

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kiddingme? Apr 19, 2012 2:39am

whoring yoga now is it? what next in the usa??

Uh-uh. Mar 4, 2012 2:46pm

I like the toesox ads as well, though it looks like that woman has no vulva. I still would never buy toesox.
And Waylon, really, no, advertising that is just a little less porno but still limited to displaying female bodies is not "effective. Get off it. You really do need some feminist education, dude.

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.