Fashion Advertising’s Celebrity Invasion
FROM Chanel to Calvin Klein, using celebrities as models is the advertising trend du jour for fashion houses. And it’s one that seems to be working. Many successful ad campaigns have been helmed by actors, singers and other famous faces. Celebrities are picked in lieu of models because they are instantly recognisable and can grab attention regardless of what they look like or what they are wearing. They come with their own fame capital without the advertisers having to lift a finger. It’s no surprise that the more well-known a celebrity is, the more exposure the designer and their clothes will get beyond the pages of Vogue or Women’s Wear Daily. Using celebrities in advertising portrays a certain lifestyle: one of success and affluence and of course, good clothes that people will want to emulate. At least in theory, clothing is slightly more attainable to people than fame or success.
Using non-models sometimes offers a break from the young, white and skinny conventions. Both Dolce and Gabbana and Louis Vuitton have used people such as Madonna, Keith Richards or Catherine Deneuve in their campaigns. Given that the average model usually ‘retires’ at 25, it’s good to see the baby-boomer generation not being left out just because they have a few wrinkles here and there (or in Richards’ case, everywhere.)
It is a smart move on the advertiser’s part. Male celebrities are being used extensively for fragrance campaigns. Just take a look at James Franco working it for Gucci and Matthew McConaughey for Dolce and Gabbana. Of course, advertisers are thinking along the lines that men will be more inclined to buy fragrance from an actor they know and possibly admire than from a nameless model.
However this comes with a caveat: feature the right celebrity, and at the right time. Miuccia Prada was met with confusion when she picked Lindsay Lohan to star in her ads for her side label, Miu Miu in 2007, just as Lohan’s career began its downward slide. When you hire a celebrity you also hire their well-publicised baggage too.
The world of advertising is a mysterious place and there are a lot of other aspects that come into play when making a good campaign regardless of whose face it features. Take the recent ads for Chanel No.5 perfume. Yes, they all star famous actresses but what really works it the story-telling element and cinematography that almost makes them into short films. Using a celebrity cuts out a lot of the hard work of getting attention from the press and from consumers but comes with its own risks at the same time. In the end, most people have the common sense to know that it’s what you’re selling, not who sells it that matters. At the risk of sounding like your mother, you’re not going to buy something that looks like a potato sack just because Blake Lively told you to, are you?
Posted by Emily Maree, Fashion Editor on at 5:00 pm.
This article was posted in: Life & Style
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