Fabletics, a fashionable activewear brand co-founded by actress Kate Hudson, recently made headlines for bleeping a word in its ad campaign. The spot takes a swing at high-priced competitors like Lululemon and bleeps out the word "butt"—although some viewers assumed the brand was bleeping the word "pussy."
The profanity mix-up in the spot, which was created by parent company JustFab's in-house team, wasn't planned, but it actually plays into Fabletics' strategy. Since launching two years ago, it has been using humor to position itself as an approachable yet stylish activewear brand.
"The overwhelming reaction to the commercial has been extremely positive," said Geraldine Martin-Coppola, general manager at Fabletics. "For us as a brand, we really don't take ourselves too seriously and we also make fun of the way that activewear brands market and target customers."
She also responded to speculation about which word is really being bleeped. "These spots weren't meant or intended to offend women," explained Martin-Coppola. "The word that is bleeped is the word 'butt,' and I know there's lots of speculation and headlines and social media [that say otherwise], but the word she is actually saying is the word 'butt.'"
(Check out the bleeped and unbleeped versions of the spots below.)
In two years, Fabletics has expanded from an e-commerce site to six retail locations across the country. The brand expects to hit $150 million in revenue by the end of the year.
Earlier this month it released another spot, this time featuring Kate Hudson, that again plays with the serious tone many brands in the category tend to strike in their campaigns.