Advertising Images

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by esquire., Apr 23, 2005.

  1. esquire.

    esquire. Senior member

    Messages:
    1,303
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    The thread about obese people made me wonder why we don't see more images of more overweight people in advertising for clothes and fashion, especially considering the large amounts of overweight americans?

    Let's say your a size 22 woman. Will an image of a stunning, size 2 model in a beautiful dress really make you want you to buy it? Wouldn't you be more likely to buy it if you saw the dress on a larger person, and got an idea how attractive it would look on you?

    And, how effective is advertising is it ultimately in swaying people's choices? People here seem to imply that the average american consumer chooses their clothing due to the power of advertising, and that's why clothing is more expensive to help pay for all the advertising. Considering the lack of TV exposure, I wonder how much this advertising adds to the cost.

    Sure, brands like Polo and Calvin Klein advertise a lot. Maybe, its just me, but most of the advertising I see for clothes wouldn't make me to want to buy from them. Instead, all they do is remind me that these brands exist and sell clothes.

    There also seems to be other luxury brands like Talbott which haven't done this type of advertising, and yet are still quite popular.
     


  2. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

    Messages:
    2,523
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Location:
    Bay Area
    the dress design that looks so nice on a size 2 woman will probably not look so nice on a size 22. it's harder to make clothes look good when they're being modeled by fat people, so in order to optimize their visual appeal they use skinny people for advertising.

    there are clothes that are made for larger people, and advertised with larger models, but really - they just don't look as good as the hot young things in the magazines. it's a niche market because only a small segment of the population is amenable to those images.

    making big people look good is harder work than making small people look good. (the definition of beauty, a whole debate unto itself.) therefore i'm guessing the operating costs of the big-people's fashion industry are going to be higher than the easier skinny-people's industry: more talented designers, more focus groups, trickier marketing, etc... is there as much profit to be had? i don't know.

    i think every now and then the word gets around that a certain brand or designer does a good job at looking good on all body types, and those companies must do well. i don't know about the companies that focus on the larger figure - maybe lane bryant does well...?

    but, it seems to me, the images at the pinnacle of fashion will always be concentrated on what the culture considers beautiful, not on what is 'median'.
     


  3. StevenRocks

    StevenRocks Senior member

    Messages:
    617
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Location:
    Southwest Virginia
    "Plus-sized" models tend to be size 12-14 women and regular-sized models are usually a size 0-2.  Mannequins are similar.  I guess it's like faustian bargain was inferring, people flock to the smaller sizes of each range because they're "cuter."  You'll notice this in the shoe department as well.  Usually the size on display is an 8 or a 9, 6 or 7 for women, because it's hard to make a shoe that size look ugly.

    For whatever reason, people of all sizes buy into the image of the cute and small, particurally women.  We're fooling ourselves into thinking that this thing will make us look cute and small as well, when we should be demanding to see beautiful things in more realistic sizes.  It's hard to fight years of indoctrination, I guess.

    How effective is advertising ultimately in swaying people's choices?  Reasonably.  People will seek out the thing that they saw on TV or on the 'net, but there are limits to advertising's reach.  If something doesn't fit or doesn't mesh with one's lifestyle, the marketing has failed for that group of people.
     


  4. stache

    stache Senior member

    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2004
    esquire that is a very interesting question regarding the percentage of garment cost that goes to advertising. I would love to know the answer to that myself. Anyone? Plus the mental process of a large woman looking at the sizt 2 photo is that she subconciously thinks that she will look that small in that garment. BTW Talbot is not doing very well at the moment and they are trying to appeal to a younger crowd. This is a great thread.
     


  5. alchimiste

    alchimiste Senior member

    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    a fine country
    Some brands have started using more "realistitic" models (older than 25, weighting more than 40kg, etc.), but it's not wide-spread (yet?)
     


  6. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

    Messages:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2003
    Wide spread? Were you being punny again, Alchimiste? LOL

    Seriously: I think this is because a size 12-14-16 is planning to be back in a size 6-8 and want to see themselves looking great in a 4 sometime in the future and they are selling the ideal.

    ...when the class warfare arguments flare up there are plenty of people who object to redistribution of wealth when it would more than likely benefit them not because they are sympathetic toward billionaires... but because they plan on becoming one.

    I don't think advertising is generally aimed at what you are or what you are realistically likely to become but at the ideal you wish you could achieve.

    Ouch, too deep for a saturday morning, back to dumb and happy.
     


  7. Jill

    Jill Senior member

    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    Outside of large chain-type stores (Gap, Old Navy, etc) and BIG labels (RL, Hilfiger, etc) very few clothing companies spend their advertising budget on TV spots.  Most of said $$$ are spent on print media.

    I'm sure there are others here who will have more accurate numbers, but for the sake of illustration, I'll try to break it down as best I can with my feeble memory.  Last time I checked, a 1/3 page ad in a national mag like Robb Report or Esquire was $15k/month.  I think the full page ad was $40K. So...

    $40K for one full page ad/month
     x12 months/yr
     x 5 magazines
    -------------------
    Approx $2.5 million /yr

    Now divide into that the (wild guess) 25,000 suit/yr that someone like Corneliani probably makes, and you've added to your Cost of Goods approx $100/suit.

    Again, I'm not claiming knowledge of anyone's internal #s, as I truly don't know, but I AM quite certain of the approximated advertising costs.  Just an illustration, but you can surely get the idea that advertising is a VERY significant cost of doing business.
     


  8. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

    Messages:
    8,739
    Likes Received:
    43
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Elizabethtown
     


  9. Jill

    Jill Senior member

    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    LOL. Maybe now we're onto something. It's all about economics. Besides, they'd have a much lower expense account on "meals".
     


  10. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Messages:
    34,567
    Likes Received:
    12,137
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Jill,

    I would opine that Corneliani makes significantly more than 25 000 suits a year based on the sheer number of permutations of cuts/fabrics/sizes/seasons and the number of shops (from mid to top tier, from boutiques to specialty stores lie NM, that carry the brand. Maybe a Brioni or a Kiton makes this many, but I'd bet a twenty that Corneliani makes many, many more suits. A company like Zegna, even more. But the bulk of their sales probably comes from shirts and ties and other furnishings. I would imagine that the bulk of the marketing budget is taken care of in the markup on these, much cheaper to manufacture, items.
     


  11. Jill

    Jill Senior member

    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    LA Guy ~
    This may indeed be the case. I just did a little scientific research (looked through magazines we have in the house currently). Their current ad is a 2-pager, so we can double (or slightly less than double probably) the previous estimate. It appears that they also advertise in more than 5 mags/mo. I'm also not including things like paid product placements (eg. movies) or the cost of models, photo shoots, etc (because they're nominal in a campaign of this size). But you get the point.

    And I just pulled a company out of my hat. Every company out there is going to alot a different percentage of product cost to advertising. Just trying to give a generic example of how quickly the bux can add up.
     


  12. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Messages:
    34,567
    Likes Received:
    12,137
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Jill,

    I will model Carlos Franco ties for travel expenses and room and board (although I'll have to pass on board to really be in shape to model), provided I am allowed to model them wearing only Chuck's new Ralph Lauren Purple Label man-thong. The thing must be washed per Ebay specifications, however.

    You could also set up a new page on the site with me modeling oversized Carlo Franco shirts and zimmerlies as well. The page should be entitled "Reason number one to not hook up while wearing bear goggles. You never know who'll be there come morning."
     


  13. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

    Messages:
    1,528
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Location:
    New York City
    Obese people aren't pretty to look at. A size 2 is easier on the eyes than a size 14.


    Yes, it does make people want to buy it. Clothes will look better on people with certain proportions. Most (male) runway models wear a size 40L (drop 8). I don't care what label suit you are wearing, it will always look better on someone who is a 40L. If you're larger or smaller, naturally you would think the suit looks the same on you. Why wouldn't designers showcase their stuff in the best possible light?

    Also advertising, especially in clothing, is aspirational. The women who is a size 14 will buy something a women in a ad who is a size 0 because she thinks of herself as the size 0, or at least aspires to be a size 0.


    That's exactly their aim. It's called "branding." Those ads create brand awareness. It's one of the most important concepts in advertising. It's just like when Nike places a "swoosh" logo on something; you know automatically it's Nike, you're aware of Nike's presence, you see it often, you go to buy a pair of shoes, Nike is the first brand that pops in your head.

    Also, brands like RL and Hermes don't advertise clothing, as much as they advertise a lifestyle. It's aspirational, and a dream for most people; one that you can buy into for $65, with a knit shirt or $120 for a tie. It's genious.
     


  14. Jill

    Jill Senior member

    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    LA ~ There's just SO MUCH wrong about that thread, I don't even know where to begin. Â I'm sure you would look lovely in said thong - - or Zimmerli, but it's just too much to digest in one post. Â I don't know if Chuck could handle the competition, frankly. [​IMG]
     


  15. alchimiste

    alchimiste Senior member

    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    a fine country
    There is some room (no comment, Chuck) between anorexic and obese. Obese people will probably never be used in advertising. But even somebody with a healthy weight is unlikely (especially for women), underweight is the norm. In an article I read (which I cannot find) they wrote that some companies which had used more "normal" models (not obese but maybe somewhat overweight) had skyrocketing sales because they reached a lot of customers better than the usual ads. Of course this effect would end as soon as everybody does the same.

    In the same article they stated that models must be about ten years younger than the actual customer. People modelling for high-end suits are generally too young to afford them, people in their 40's sell you life insurance and so on.

    Mathieu
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by