Juicy Couture '08:
source Fab Sugar
Juicy Couture '09:
source Tasty Little Dish
As an avid reader of fashion zines I see a lot of ad campaigns as I'm sure all of you do as well. The number of pages dedicated to fashion marketing in your average Vogue is pretty ridiculous. I haven't counted them but I'm sure the ratio of ads to actual content is pretty close to being equal. While it may be a bit annoying at times to be bombarded with ads before you even get to the table of contents, it is a necessary evil, without the ads we wouldn't have the addictive glossies at all. And while a lot of fashion image consumption is moving to the internet via blogs and ezines, there's still nothing like curling up in bed with your favorite magazine. Being able to physically turn the page makes it almost more of a legitimate consumption than endlessly clicking, clicking, clicking.
It's also nice to have something to collect other than shoes, clothes, and jewelry. We collect magazines as well, and I bet all of you fashionistas are guilty of having stacks of old Nylons, Vogues, Elles, Harper's Bazaar's, and W's all over your bedrooms. We tear out our favorite pictures and tack them to a bulletin board so we can see them all the time.
Magazines are also a source of cultural fashionista capital. We can whip them out when riding the bus, during a lunch break, sitting at the airport, and depending on the mag they sort of insight the same fascination from bystanders as if you had whipped out House of Leaves. I feel that the magazines people read can kind of mark them as a person who knows and likes something that I too know and like. Anytime I'm near someone reading a fashion zine, at the bus stop or on the bus, I find my self reading over their shoulder, bothering them unknowingly into starting a conversation about fashion. Magazines are how we find eachother socially in real life instead of the virtual fashion world that most of us partake in.
So now that I've articulated how important tangible fashion news and information is, we can begin to understand how important Fashion ad campaigns are. I started thinking about the importance of ads when I saw the most recent Juicy Couture ad campaign. I instantly thought that they were unbelievably awesome. They say something about going against the grain taking the idea of a "Fashion do's and don't's" list and throwing the "don't's" in the lists proverbial face. I've always hated the idea of fashion rules and the ad campaign speaks to the idea that fashion is an art, and art is objective, so there literally are NO RULES.
When comparing the two ad campaigns the former pales in comparison. When I first saw those pictures I thought that they were colorful, whimsical, a little bit comedic, but not really saying anything special about the brand. It's not a bad campaign, its just not a great one. Now what does the latter have that the former doesn't? Words. The pictures are still whimsical and a little bizarre, especially with the cross dressing going on. But the idea is explained in bright colors. Its simpler, more accessible, and therefore more affective. It's marketing 101, and they nailed it.
Now this begs the question, do the campaigns need words to be affective? Thinking about this reminded me of the segment that Danielle Fishel does on The Dish where she pokes fun of weird fashion campaigns. It seems that the higher-end the label the more conceptual the ads. So what are they saying, that in order to even want to buy these products you need to be thinking about fashion on an artistic visionary level? What do you think, is it a bad thing to push the campaigns to a level of artistry that forces your buyer base to be a base of fashion concipients or should there be a happy medium of artistry and simplicity in order to garner the widest range of buyers?
Let me know what you think! I'm definitely interested in continuing the debate :)