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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