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Advertising Images

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

  1. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Actually, the average American woman is size 12. The thing is that beyond a certain size (I'll draw the line arbitrarily at 14) women become less attractive because they generally start to lose the shapeliness that emphazises secondary sexual characteristics, and become more "blob" like. (Same goes the other way too, but 1) Americans (in general) have a youth fetish, and 2) plastic surgery can augment these characterics on extremely thin women.) An analogous argument can be applied to obese men.
     
  2. HeyYouItsMike

    HeyYouItsMike Well-Known Member

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    (esquire. @ April 23 2005,00:37) 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?
    No - advertising is about fantasy - not reality. It's the same reason that beer ads show guys surrounded by beautiful (often swimsuit-clad) women. That's the fantasy - that if I drink a Bud Light, I will attract these women. An ad showing real people drinking would be much scarier. Women will not buy a dress shown on a Size 22 model. Heck, even Emme, the best known plus-size model is only like a size 14, which is actually the size of the average American women. Does advertising work - the obvious answer is YES. If it didn't work, they wouldn't spend so much money on it. Bradford
    +19849839 Fashion is very aspirational, definitely not based in reality. And I think Emme is HOT.
     
  3. Bradford

    Bradford Senior member

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    Women will not buy a dress shown on a Size 22 model. Heck, even Emme, the best known plus-size model is only like a size 14, which is actually the size of the average American women.
    Actually, the average American woman is size 12. Â The thing is that beyond a certain size (I'll draw the line arbitrarily at 14) women become less attractive because they generally start to lose the shapeliness that emphazises secondary sexual characteristics, and become more "blob" like. Â (Same goes the other way too, but 1) Americans (in general) have a youth fetish, and 2) plastic surgery can augment these characterics on extremely thin women.) Â An analogous argument can be applied to obese men.
    OK - she's a 12, but I only mention this because I have seen articles where large women are offended because plus-size models are too small - and are actually more representative of the average women, rather than the plus-size market these ads are geared toward.
     
  4. esquire.

    esquire. Senior member

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    I emailed somebody I knew in advertising, if he had any insights he could share. I've edited out the personal stuff, but here's some of what he said:

    Hard question to answer quickly or succinctly. Advertising expenditure as a percentage of unit cost fluctuates wildly depending upon the type of product one is describing, as well as the corporate philosophy of the manufacturer.

    Clothing manufacturers (or, more accurately, wholesalers since so few mainstream labels actually sew their own products) spend an inordinate amount of money, not in television, but in print media. The cost of a multi-page spread in a fashion magazine is lower than a national, network or cable, tv spot. But the breadth of placement makes for a large aggregate expenditure in spite of the cheaper unit placement cost.

    aparrel manufacturers spent about 4.3% of their sales on advertising in 2004. To compare, here are some other industry's advertising spending:

    aparrel mfg 4.3
    aparrel stores 3.7
    beverage 9.0
    liquor 15.8
    dolls, stuffed toys 11.2
    food 11.1
    games 8.8
    motion picture studio 12.5
    soap 11.6
    cleaners, polish 10.9
    tv broadcast 11.2

    I don't think it is fair or accurate to state that advertising makes up a majority of the costs of aparrel; especially when compares the clothing industry's expenditure compared to booze or cleaning products.

    As the figures I cited point out, advertising, obviously, adds to the cost of goods sold. But at the levels indicated, it is not enough to make up the price differences.

    The obvious contributors to the price differentiation are raw materials, labor, physical overhead, design/development cost, advertising and marketing expense and desired profit margin. I'd guess the easy answer to "the" question is that all of the above are higher in the case of high=priced garments. The greatest factor may well be the desired profit margin.
     
  5. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    Hmm, I see you didn't ask him about my theory that they use skinnier models because they take up less advertising space...
     
  6. vc2000

    vc2000 Senior member

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    Good question - I have wondered about this myself.  I sometimes see a model in a magazine and wonder if they are trying to appeal/expand a market that doesn't really exist?  Or maybe the market is I've been charged with a crime and undergoing a trial - I bought the suit but didn't have the cash for a haircut and shave?

    John Molloy talked in his book about the fashion industry attempting to sell something that didn't work in the real world.  I have always chalked it up to this.  

    I will admit that the ads turn me off to their suits.  I don't associate them with workable clothing rather frilly fashion items.  But then I'm probably just an old foggy.
     
  7. christian

    christian Senior member

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    I don't see how anybody could find anybody over a certain size attractive. I think of all the folds of fat, and how hard it is to clean their skin properly.

    There's a backlash brewing where normal sized people are getting sick of the obese agenda. They'll try to drag a beautiful woman like Kelly Ripa, and start making these innuendos that she's too thin.
     
  8. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, the top model of the 50's, and 60's had a 17 inch waist.
     
  9. Patrick06790

    Patrick06790 Senior member

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    Back to those twenty year olds with long hair and stubble - in their attitudes of repose, they appear to be contemplating the works of Kant while gazing soulfully into the distance.

    I suggest a series of suit ads featuring regular men at work:

    -The man making a face at his ringing telephone, but looking pretty suave in the process.

    -The man leaving the washroom discreetly checking his fly.

    -Or the rehab counselor (ahem) chasing the teenager attempting to smuggle cough syrup into the facility. "Our collars stay put - even when you can't."
     
  10. Matt

    Matt Senior member

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    [​IMG]
     
  11. esquire.

    esquire. Senior member

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    At first, I agreed with everybody's argument that clothes just look aesthetically more pleasing on a slimmer person.

    However, I read this interesting article in the LA Times which made me question this premise. Here's part of the article:

    "Believe it or not, there already are sizing standards, though it's unclear who follows them.

    The standards, based on data gathered over nearly seven decades, continue to evolve but generally remain geared to the hourglass figure (think 36-26-36), which accounts for only 8% of women, said Istook, who has researched the female form. By her reckoning, nearly half of American women are rather rectangular (more like 41-34-42). The second-most-common shape is called the spoon. (Don't ask.)

    The first set of standards was devised in 1958 after catalog sellers such as Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Montgomery Ward, fed up with customers returning so many garments, asked for guidelines. They were based on a 1939 study conducted under a Federal Work Projects Administration grant, a major effort involving 58 painstaking measurements of nearly 15,000 volunteers across seven states.

    Unfortunately for future shoppers, the volunteers, who were measured with and without girdles, were not exactly representative. A disproportionate number were young, single city dwellers. Women of color were intentionally excluded."

    So, basically, this makes me wonder if maybe the problem isn't that bigger clothes on bigger women look unattractive, but that you're putting the wrong type of clothes on these bigger women. The standards that were first established were skewed and not representative of the population. Since then, these standards have been geared towards a narrow segment of the population.

    Of course, if you're designing something for an hourglass figure, it would look good only on somebody with that figure and not on somebody with a spoon shape. However, the inverse could also be true: if we designed something for a spoon figure, it might not look attractive on somebody with a hourglass figure.

    If you think about it, it seems that bigger women were historically considered more beautiful. Look at the paintings of Reuben. Its only been in the last 100 years that cultural forces have told us that thin was better.
     
  12. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    it is definitely possible to design clothes that look...fine...on a larger body. they can even help conceal deficiencies and enhance features. and to the extent that larger people are looking for those kinds of clothes, and are willing to actively shop for them, these designs would be successful.

    but i maintain it's still a niche market because not all large people are willing to say to themselves, okay i am fat, where's the fat clothes.

    it's not that clothes look better on nice-looking (slimmer, in most instances) people. it's that the people are nice-looking, and this sells clothes. or cars, or beer.

    also, the change of body preferences over history is not just magically 'cultural'...there are probably myriad factors involved, not the least of which is an updated understanding of fitness and the health benefits of controlling body fat.

    i think men, in general, will always be attracted to the curvaceous female figure, because we're evolved that way and evolution trumps culture.

    /andrew
     
  13. Bradford

    Bradford Senior member

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    I have often thought that there would be a market for a line of clothing using the brand name "Little Teapot Clothes" - designed for women, who like the little teapot in the song are "short and stout".
     
  14. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    mmmm, just tip 'em over...
     
  15. StevenRocks

    StevenRocks Senior member

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    Did anyone read the AP wire story about ugly babies and how they're treated differently? Kinda sums up some things that have been said here.
     
  16. christian

    christian Senior member

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    Fat is still fat, and ugly is still ugly.

    The problem, as FB pointed out, is that fat people won't look into the mirror and accept that they're fat. Instead, they'll blame the media for bias. Or, argue that its genetics.
     

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