Why We Can’t Stop Talking About Lululemon: The Marketing Brilliance of Morbid Curiosity.

Via Amy Jirsa
on Apr 3, 2013
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sheer lululemon april fool's yoga pants

I know, I know. We’re sick to death of talking about Lululemon.

Their recent April Fool’s Day stunt with the leather yoga pants, the “From Farm to Studio” bit, was distasteful for most of us (full disclosure: vegan), and even outright disturbing with all those takes of cutting the leather over and over again, not to mention the dismembered cow logo.

This is obviously not the first time Lulu has catapulted its way into controversy and, surely, won’t be the last. However, this time I asked myself, have the Lulus gone too far? Have they finally alienated their base?

And the answer is, well, yes. Maybe. They always seem to have this magical ability to top their last controversy with their latest controversy.

But the more complete answer is: yes of course they went too far—and they went there on purpose.


Ever get the feeling that Lululemon is plotting all this controversy deliberately? They’re like this maniacal Bond villain. Or, more apt, they’re like that little kid, holding his finger about an inch away from your arm who, when you ask him to stop, chants “I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you.”

Ever get the feeling that Lululemon is catering to all the yoga rebels out there? You know, the ones (and I’m a yoga teacher, so I’m trying to say this with as much love and non-judgment as I can, because I do understand) who won’t stay for savasana, won’t turn off their phones or who interject their own poses into your carefully planned Vinyasa flow?

This is what occurred to me this morning as I was discussing the distastefulness of this last April Fool’s gag with one of my students. I realized I was giving Lululemon—a company I don’t usually talk about and don’t patronize—all this free publicity.

Hell, I’m doing it right now (but for a good cause; you know, calling them out on their crafty marketing).

See? It’s bloody brilliant.

So, here’s what I suggest. Let’s just ignore them (well, until they do something really crazy dangerous—although some would argue that they’ve already crossed that line).

Like that annoying little kid, they’ll soon get bored and go away.

Okay. Maybe they won’t go away. But maybe we could trick them into that silence game. You know, the one who can stay silent the longest wins?

Yeah, we’d win that one. We’re yogis. We’ve totally got this.

(But in case you missed the leather bit, here you go):



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Ed: Bryonie Wise


About Amy Jirsa

Amy Jirsa is a writer, wanderer, yoga instructor and master herbalist. She makes her home at her studio, Quiet Earth Yoga, in Lincoln, Nebraska and on her blog. And if that’s not enough, you can also find her at Twitter @QuietEarthYoga or on Facebook (Quiet Earth Yoga). She'll be releasing a book on yoga and natural health, to be released in 2015. Stay tuned!


5 Responses to “Why We Can’t Stop Talking About Lululemon: The Marketing Brilliance of Morbid Curiosity.”

  1. Becca says:

    Oh my dear god. That commercial. It makes me feel sick.
    Great article, Amy. I haven't ever given that company much attention and plan to keep it that way.

  2. pal says:

    I understand that this would gross people out, that the company (its name escapes me) is ignorable, and that they know exactly the effect they're creating, but I don't see how they "crossed the line" or what "the line" is. I liked the ad, irony devouring itself is funny.

  3. Allison says:

    This ad is pretty funny actually….but lululemon's price points aren't! But I guess they've managed to create enough of a cult following so the sales keep coming in. I've been shopping at a lot of boutique and smaller online shops for my yoga gear lately….the space seems to becoming more and more competitive….i love what they have here for example!

  4. Guest says:

    It is like they are making fun of their own base. Weird. I have never, and will never, patronize this brand. I will continue to support my local studio.

  5. Lucy says:

    I think it's really refreshing to see a brand making fun of themselves. People will only be offended by this add if they can't see the sarcasm or have a good sense of humour!