Lululemon just started a new ad campaign, its first directly aimed at men. And, gotta say, it's a good look for the company.
The campaign is called "Strength to Be," and its goal is a familiar one in progressive advertising: subvert stereotypes about masculinity. Not to say it's an overused theme, especially if a brand can pull it off. Lululemon's approach is simple. It chose five men with personal stories worth sharing and shot stylized videos attentive to body tone and athletic might.
Ibn Ali Miller, for example, stars in one. The social justice speaker went viral earlier this year for a video showing him breaking up a fight between two teenagers. He talks about what it means to be a "real man."
A second spot features Orlando Cruz, the first openly gay boxer to still fight professionally. He talks about remaining silent for years.
A third spot stars Mark Healey, a professional surfer who talks about being a fighter and an underdog.
Musician John Joseph and rapper Zebra Katz appear in the final two ads.
Lululemon has been selling apparel to men for a few years (you'll recall its anti-ball crushing pants), but its marketing towards men has been slim to none. The Strength to Be is part of the company's gambit to sell 40 percent of its merchandise to men, and yes, it heralds an expansion of the anti-ball crushing pants.
Though Lululemon may have some public perception to overcome—it has long marketed solely to women; its founder was an asshole—building its brand around men of strong character is a good first move.