ADVERTISING FOR REAL PEOPLE

In the world of fashion, there seems to be a large disconnect that has formed between real consumers and the airbrushed photos representing them in the advertisements. Within the last decade, society has seen a stronger stance taken by the public about the inequalities featured in advertisements, especially those portraying fashion or clothing companies. As the average woman is much larger than a size two, showing off models who are photoshopped into perfection creates an unrealistic image for what women should be.

In Lauren Indvik’s article, “Fashion Retailer Responds to Facebook Fans’ Call for “Real Women” in Photos,” the issue of ‘super-skinny’ models is shoved into the spotlight. LOFT, a fashion brand owned by Ann Taylor Incorporated, posted pictures on its Facebook page showing off a new line of pants that were available to purchase. What was a seemingly normal post in the world of fashion brands on social media quickly became the source of turmoil with consumers. Fans of the brand quickly commented that the pants were attractive, but they didn’t believe that the pants would look good on anyone shaped differently than the model.

Within 24 hours, LOFT posted pictures of its own staff, ranging from size two to size 12, wearing the pants to show off how versatile they were for different body sizes. The response from consumers was fantastic as they were extremely appreciative of the “real women” in the ads and how quickly LOFT responded to their concerns. Even consumers who did not like the pants responded in satisfaction with how the company handled the problem.

While many companies use social media to connect with their fans on a personal level, LOFT was extremely fast with their response to the feedback and fully engaged with their consumers. The clothing industry, as a major facet under the umbrella of consumer packaged goods, has to be well connected with its consumers to keep them returning, and loyal, to the brand.

Lane Bryant, a clothing brand for plus-sized women, has recently taken initiative to start a new advertisement campaign, focusing on the use of social media. As the demographic for Lane Bryant is “women ages 30 to 45 who wear sizes 14 to 28,” it is critically important that their advertisements don’t follow the traditional route of fashion ads. Matching its new print advertisements to the logos and tools used on their Web site and Facebook page, the brand is working towards creating a personality for the brand. The major focus of this revamped advertising campaign is the use of feedback (which they received via social media); They are giving consumers the products and experience they have been asking for.

-Rachel Chesno

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~ by goodpackagedconsumers on September 30, 2012.