Canadian activewear brand Lululemon is partnering with Oscar-winning actress Michelle Yeoh for a unique Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) campaign with Eastern philosophy at its core.
Lululemon is one of a handful of brands that have chosen not to focus on dragon symbolism for their Year of the Dragon campaigns. A meditation on the meaning of “spring”, Lululemon’s campaign jumps off the popularity of a touring martial arts dance show as well as Yeoh’s decades-long star power.
The centrepiece of the campaign is a 4-minute film titled新春, 咏春 (literally “new spring, Wing Chun”). The film shows Yeoh, who has trained in both ballet and martial arts, practising Wing Chun in a scenic rural setting reminiscent of the martial arts films that made her famous. She is accompanied by dancers from the successful dance show Wing Chun, who create their own interpretations of spring and Wing Chun through lyrical movement. In tandem with the film, Lululemon is also releasing a collection of popular apparel items in a new red and gold colourway.
Yeoh further promoted the film on her own official Weibo account, writing in both English and Chinese: “Spring begins when our mind meets our body. Having our own inner spring all year round is our very own superpower.” Yeoh, who is Malaysian and grew up speaking English, speaks English in the campaign film, but it is subtitled in Mandarin and includes excerpts of the dance troupe speaking Mandarin.
The English name for the campaign is “Be Spring”, mirroring the idea voiced by Yeoh in the film that spring is like wellness. China Vice President of Brand Marketing & Community, Lynn Cheah, further explained the intention behind the poetic film. “This new year, we wanted to explore wellbeing through the lens of Eastern culture – our essence, our energy and our spirit,” Cheah said. “Presented through the juxtaposition of Chinese martial arts – in this case Wing Chun – and dance, ‘Be Spring’ is a celebration of spring, and an invitation to find your balance and your own eternal spring.”