“The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife”- David Ogilvy
The fashion industry has mastered the art of manipulating your perception. Marketers and advertisers spend millions of dollars familiarizing you with symbols that will convey desired messages. Fashion unlike other forms of media can be sold of the page, because you are already familiar with the symbolic representation of fashion, and you can associate with its products and accessories. This includes personal effects like; ladies purses, heals, dresses, men’s shirts, shoes and pants, to ideal forms of beauty and identity. Various twists are applied to these existing symbols so that visual motivation can occur on a large scale.
Michael Clinton, President-Marketing and Publishing Director at Hearst Magazines claimed that the consumer continues to prove that it is print advertising that drives it all. Fashion is a rapidly changing industry and people are always looking through magazines for the new look, as a result the modernity of print advertisement is what gives fashion ads an advantage.
There is an old marketing adage: sell the sizzle not the stake. The purchase is not so much for ownership of the product as it is having the image that it carries. It is the image that sells the product not necessarily its quality. Fashion is inherently very image based, an image in print creates a perceived image you as a consumer. Virtually every celebrity image seen in magazines, TV and videos has been digitally modified. Yet many individuals try to achieve these impossible images, because in their world a size zero is a status symbol. The sizzle is in the print and it is continually sold whereas the stake or the quality of this image is never quite what it seems.
Additionally, there are words that sell themselves, think about one of the most powerful words in advertising, SALE! It’s bold in a magazine, shop window or newspaper, and you are immediately interested. Most consumers function based on relativity; in fact human nature is one of relativity. Therefore, if a product that states the regular price and the sale price next to each other, this product will always seem more desirable to you than a one that is not on sale. The fashion industry employs price imagery to coerce the consumer to purchase.
Therefore, I implore everyone to think about not just what you buy but what is sold to you. In other words, it’s not just about your choice of purchase, but the images and lifestyle that is sold to you secretly embedded in the fashion advertising. Be mindful of the psychology behind marketing, ensure that you know yourself before the fashion industry defines you.