You know those little black stretchy pants? The lululemon ones we have all owned at one point. That we’ve worn during yoga, (let’s be honest, mostly not at yoga), and everything in between. Yup, those ones. Well the man behind them Chip Wilson, founder of lululemon, was ready to share his story – and Very Polite was going to help him do it.
The agency managed the launch of Chip Wilson’s first book, aptly named ‘Little Black Stretchy Pants,’ with a bold and irreverent campaign that celebrated the book and represented Chip in an authentic and impactful way. The book is part autobiography, part business philosophy – written in the direct and dynamic voice that Chip Wilson is known for, taking the reader through his journey in creating one of the biggest retailers in the world. Taking those cues, we conceptualized and executed a 360-degree approach that would resonate with his diverse audience demographic, from business leaders to yoga enthusiasts.
We began with rebranding all relevant platforms. Very Polite created an extensive brand design package that included visuals for all social channels (including social media strategy execution and management), the launch and design of a new website, advertising campaigns (all ads designed in-house). And if you happened to be on an Air Canada flight during this time, you may have caught a Very Polite produced airline commercial starring Chip Wilson. (We don’t pick favourites, but this was as much fun to create as it was to watch). We also designed and shot the book cover, keeping the focus on the finest asset…the pants of course.
In an unconventional move, we made the decision with our client to self-publish the book even though we had numerous big publishers bidding for the contract. This also entailed us handling all international media buys and the book tour – facets traditionally managed by the publishing house. We knew a generic book tour wasn’t going to be an option. We wanted to create conversations and allow people an opportunity to connect directly with Chip.
Very Polite launched a book tour that started in New York with an experiential pop-up space meant to feel as though guests were walking inside the book, complete with oversized “ripped” pages displayed like art on the wall, and custom signage throughout. There we facilitated extensive media appointments including with the New York Times, The New Yorker, Forbes, and WSJ. Following this activation, we executed an outdoor yoga pop-up class and meet and greet in both Toronto and LA, collaborating with local brands to provide refreshments and lead classes with Chip. We capped the tour with a book signing hosted near Chip’s home in Vancouver that saw an extraordinary turnout.
The result was global coverage with over 800 million impressions in coverage. The paperback book is now available on Amazon, as well as in bookstores across the country. Little Black Stretchy Pants has sold over 34,000 copies since the launch in Oct 2018.
Chip Wilson continues to be a client (the man has a lot going on!) and Very Polite is currently working with our team to release the latest version of his best-seller book – in new markets. With numerous projects in the pipeline, including design work, website development, creative strategy, PR, and media buy planning, the agency anticipates another tremendously impactful and always exciting (truly never boring) year with the visionary behind those ‘Little Black Stretchy Pants.’