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Oakley Goes on Yoga Pants Offensive With New Ad Campaign

in YD News


Uh oh! Oakley is on the yoga-pants-for-leisure offensive. While the lulus want women to yoga, eat, sleep, shop, flash your business in their clothing, Oakley wants none of that namby pamby non-workout crap in workout clothing. They’ve created a few 30 second spots to enforce their stance that their exercise gear is made for exercising not socializing and you fakers and lazy butts better recognize. Wait, doesn’t Oakley make sunglasses? We’re so behind on the gym wear times.

The campaign designed to reach women (90% of their customer base is male) is so anti-loungeypants Oakley created some cockamamey contract on their website asking you to sign on to statements like: “I will use my gear to exercise, not socialize.” Or “I will use my gear to sweat, not shop.” Or “I will use my gear to go to the gym, not the salon.”

Ours might go something like, I paid a lot for these pants, I’ll wear them in the shower if I want to!

Here’s their official stance:

Oakley women’s gear is for running not running errands. For exercising not socializing. It’s not car pool chic. It’s not grocery store casual. It was made for more than that. It was made for me.

We’re not sure who the “me” is but we admit it’s not a lot of us because, outside of yoga class, these stretchy bottoms have seen more couch than a potato! Though the concept is strangely motivating and antagonizing at the same time. Who are we to be wearing stretchy pants and not be lifting dumbbells?! We are such slackers!

It also seems sort of anti-yoga. Oakley doesn’t make any specific yoga clothing, which is fine, but we somehow get the feeling they’re not cool with lame old boring yoga, and especially not ok with everyone prancing around in Lululemon, a competitor and the leader in their market (and making a bazillian dollars doing it.) We should note that Oakley is also pretty pricey, like say $90 for their fancy workout pants.

Their “social contract” draws another line between the athletic, social and yoga worlds.

You’re not like other women. You believe athletic clothes are meant for athletics, not long walks in the mall. You’re an ultimate competitor that believes in hard work, sweat and pushing the limits. Your social contract is a way of life–it’s your personal mantra. It’s time to draw a line and let the world know where you stand.

The campaign is certainly cheeky and funny, and also rather bold considering that most fitness and yoga clothing companies keep moving more towards “lifestyle” wear that somehow transitions from the gym or yoga studio to brunch, erranding or nightlife. These ads are basically a big FU to all you lazy chumps lolligagging in stretchy pants when you should be sweating, running and lifting weights, likely all at the same time, because you’re tough and hardcore, etc.

As yoga folks, we know this isn’t entirely a yoga pants slam, but with the growing trend of ready to wear yoga (even on the runway!) and tons of ladies living their lives in luon, the backlash was just waiting to happen. At the same time, it made us giggle, not just because they’re silly throwback infomercially ads, but because we know that we practice yoga all the time, not just on our mats, but in the supermarket, at brunch or at the bank whether in yoga pants, pajama pants or no pants at all. Yoga was made for more than that.

Here are the ads:

“Want that cute, fitnessy look without all that annoying fitness part? Tough. There’s only one legitimate way to look fit and that’s why Oakley Women’s training gear is made for running, not running errands.”

“The operative word in “workout clothes” is “workout”. If you’re wearing them to impress the other moms at your kid’s school, you’re missing the point. Oakley Women’s training gear is made for exercising, not socializing.”

“Moisture-wicking fabric is engineered to combat blood, sweat and tears, not the whipped cream on top of your expensive latte. That’s why Oakley Women’s training gear is training gear, not trendy gear.”




13 comments… add one
  • Honomann

    Lovin it! There is much truth in parody. Most people who who come to my class who have the attention span of an ADHD patient are donning Lululemon.

    • Kk

      Wow way to draw a conclusion. Maybe there are other factors. The music could be all over the place. Perhaps your classes aren’t very engaging. Who knows?

    • Debbie

      I certainly hope you are not teaching yoga, with that attitude.

  • James

    I like it. “Fitness not fashion” is one of the best things I’ve ever heard from a company. People should keep that line in their head.

    Oakley isn’t saying you must use workout clothes only for working out. They want people to think about why they purchase workout clothes. If you’re buying workout clothes as a fashion accessory rather than fitness equipment, you’re doing it wrong.

  • Amy

    I love this! It’s great. Plus: how could you say the add is anti-yoga? It looks to me like the woman in the Oakley gear is landing in an arm balance at the end, plus she has her hands in prayer position.

  • Cindy

    Just watched those ads and I love them, it’s inspiring. I don’t have Oakley workout clothes, at least not yet. But never the less I agree and inspired by this, I don’t see it’s anti-yoga…

  • Sara Greene

    LOVE IT!!! SO true – I hate dropping my kiddo off at school and seeing Mom’s that I know don’t work out – dressed as if they have just run a marathon – in full make-up. Go Oakley!

  • Debbi

    These are hilarious. Like watching SNL spoof. And so it has some truth that is hard to ignore. It is a big contrast between a good workout wearing exceptional quality clothing and wearing comfortable workout clothes to do your every day stuff. Nice wit.

  • Debbie

    I’d say the intent of these commercials is to get people who are serious about working out to spend their money on Oakley not yoga fashion stores. I will say that there is a lot of yoga trendy stuff out there, extremely overpriced, purchased for the “look’.

    If anything this is a commercial geared to people’s egos. They want people to think “Yes, I’m not one of those bimbos, so I should buy from Oakley”. Whatever their campaign says, I’ll still stop at the grocery store in my yoga clothes if I need something.

    • Maple

      Maybe I haven’t noticed yoga pants as a fashion statement, per say, but more or less assume if I see someone in them they are on their way to/from the gym or yoga.

      Most people that practice yoga more than likely don’t care if they are caught in them as a fashion faux paux and would tend to steer away from a company that would jeer them; especially since their pants cost just as much as the trendy stuff out there…

      Above and beyond, they are comfy to chill in.

  • Allison

    I think these commericals are pretty funny. I’m all for marketing with a sense of humor but I also want value for what I pay. Stumbled upon this boutique yoga clothing site recently and like their selection and causes – karmicfit.com

    Pretty nice selection of pants too!

  • Kaye K

    I love these ads! Witty and they make a great point. Why waste high performing workout wear on lounging around? I don’t own any Oakley fit wear yet, but I plan on making trip to buy some this week, just based on the ads alone. Go Oakley!

  • Melissa

    I think these ads make a great point – it is always such a bummer when you make a big purchase and realize that the clothing is not appropriate for exercise (see-through in yoga, etc.). That being said, I am an avid yogi, and I constantly wear my yoga gear to class, doing errands, etc. If I don’t have to run home and change, I can ensure that I will make it to class. Also, I would like to remind everyone that yoga isn’t about what you wearing, and we should be happy that people are in class and trying to better themselves, no matter what.

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