Canadian yoga equipment manufacturer Lululemon released a video in December 2011 entitled ‘Shit Yogis Say’. In the video ad Lululemon pokes a little good-natured fun at its own community by featuring a young female yogi spouting a host of ‘common’ catchphrases anyone within ten metres of a yoga studio is likely to hear, as well some more obscure ones.

Things like:

  • “I’m concerned about your aura.”
  • “How do you say that in Sanskrit?”
  • “I need a coconut water.”
  • “Let’s go to the farmers market after class.”
  • “This mat is recyclable.”
  • “I got a blockage I’m working on.”
  • “I just bought some really cool eye shadow for my third eye” and on it goes.

Of course, “namaste” is repeated frequently to the point of annoyance and the video ends with shocking, yet hilarious: “Namaste Mutha-F#@kah.”

Yes, it upset some people. Some have even suggested boycotting the brand entirely. However, with under 250 dislikes and almost 10,000 likes out of well over two million views the campaign has generated a whole lot more momentum and a stronger fan base than some airy-fairy feel good ad promoting the function and comfort of their clothes.

Is it time to lighten up and realise that being offended by something says more about us than it does about the person affronting us? I think it’s time to say what we mean, and, if possible, do it with a sense of humour. Most ambien online usa people love it when brands push the limits of political correctness. Not everyone will like it; not everyone will even get it. Humour is like that. Some people love ‘The 3 Stooges’, some love Stephen Fry. Some love both, others don’t like either. I’m convinced though that the people who like to laugh significantly outnumber the miserable souls who are reluctant to even smile.

Here are a couple of quick tips on using humour:

1. It’s okay to be rude.
2. That said, be ultra-cautious about making jokes of a political or religious nature.
3. Run your ideas past a few people to make sure your work is funny without being overly unprofessional, offensive or alienating…

… and the golden rule:

4. Never ever be funny at someone else’s expense; it’s just as easy to be funny without putting someone down.

A disabled person can crack a joke about their disability, but if an able-bodied person make a joke at their expense, we’d call it teasing or bullying. Lululemon isn’t attacking any one person in particular, they are really poking fun at themselves and their own industry. They have the right to.

If people see you’re trying to be entertaining they’re more likely to side with you. If your humour is self-deprecating (without totally undermining your business), well … that’s Flawsome!