lululemon unveils 'largest global campaign', plans to quadruple revenue by 2023

Athleisure apparel brand lululemon is unveiling what it claims is its largest, fully integrated global advertising campaign titled “FEEL”. Launching on 17 August across Asia, the campaign is built on the brand’s long-standing belief that “the better you feel, the better you’ll perform”, and aims to shift the perception of what it means to be well. Done in collaboration with Droga5, the campaign will run until the end of September in Asia.

In a crowded activewear category that is often more focused on what people do, lululemon said that it seeks to simply invite people to feel. The campaign, therefore, aims to introduce lululemon to new audiences with a radically fresh and timely point of view that reshapes the cultural conversation around wellbeing. Lululemon is also making a conscious shift to grow beyond its core consumers and resonate more with its growing men’s community, international markets, and younger Gen Z target audiences. 

The FEEL campaign will include TV, online videos, OOH, digital, paid media, organic social, and retail in-store visual merchandising, influencer, activations and more across Asia Pacific, North America, and EMEA. Internationally, lululemon aims to quadruple its revenue by 2023 and will adapt the campaign per market.

In Asia Pacific, is working with celebrity ambassadors in China, including Hong Kong-American actress Celina Lu and former NBA and Chinese Basketball Association star Stephon Marbury. On a global level, it is collaborating with celebrity fitness trainer Akin Akman, meditation instructor Manoj Dias, American snowboarder Hailey Langland, actress-turned fitness instructor Deja Riley and British fitness coach Joe Wicks. 

In the US, FEEL will feature broadcast television spots that will run during NFL regular-season games in select markets, underscoring the brand’s intention to reach new and wider audiences. The multimarket channel plan includes dynamic video content with elevated brand and product storytelling, print and OOH executions, retail integration, social and community activations, among others. There will also be three separate product-focused spots, one of which featuring the brand’s new proprietary fabric launching later this month. 

Through the campaign, lululemon wants to spotlight how its innovative and technical products are designed to help its customers immerse themselves in their practice, resulting in a difference they can truly feel. Lululemon’s spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that the FEEL Space campaign spotlights the ABC Pants. With an emphasis on marketing to Gen Z, the spokesperson added that it has plans to conduct a workwear survey that explores both men’s and women’s feelings towards office attire, including expectations and preferences for the future.

Nikki Neuburger, chief brand officer, lululemon, said: “Supporting our guests’ desire to feel their best in any moment, through the products we create and community connections we help build, is a shift that we believe consumers and the category will benefit from.”

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According to a ranking of global brands by WPP and Kantar done last year, lululemon was one of the fastest risers in performance, having shifted its focus from yoga-inspired athleisure to work-appropriate clothing, as well as offering online classes for people at home. In July, the brand's stock reportedly rose 1.6% after Goldman included it on its "Conviction Buy" list, CNBC said

Lululemon reported a 125% increase in international net revenue for the first quarter of 2021. Direct to consumer net revenue for the quarter represented 44.4% of total net revenue compared to 54.0% for Q1 2020. CEO Calvin McDonald said its strong performance across categories, channels and geographies demonstrates the momentum and strength of lululemon as it shifts into the new normal. CFO Meghan Frank said during the financial call that eCommerce contributed about US$900 million of top line or 52% of total revenue. Traffic was driven by channel shift, coupled with investments in digital marketing, she said.

In May, it launched a limited-edition Earth Dye Collection featuring casual, soft, and easy-to-wear styles made with lower-impact dyes upcycled from the waste of oranges, beets, and saw palmetto trees sourced from the agricultural and herbal industries. The collection underscored lululemon's commitment to its Impact Agenda and delivering on its future-facing commitments toward sustainable product innovation, with the goal of making 100% of its products with sustainable materials and end-of-use solutions by 2030. 

A month before that, lululemon pushed its sustainability pledge with the launch of its recommence “Like New” initiative. Conceptualised to extend the life of a product, customers are encouraged to exchange their clothing through the trade-in and resale programme in exchange for an e-gift card. The programme was done in line with its “Be Planet” pillar, which focuses on “making products that are better for people and the planet”. It is currently working with Edelman for PR duties in Asia Pacific.

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