In the fashion industry, there are 5 separate and distinct levels of brand, which are including premium and luxury brands, affordable luxury brands, mainstream brands and sales, and discount brands. No matter which level that specific brand is. The brand has a special need for fashion advertising in terms of the purpose of promotional products.
What is Fashion Advertising?
To start with, I would like to introduce you to the term “fashion advertising“. Fashion advertising is a sub-branch of the advertising field with the purpose of creating promotion for the fashion brand, such as garments, jewelry, shoes, purses, perfumes, and many more in the fashion industry. The goal of fashion advertising is to connect potential customers in different social classes with that specific brand.
It could be the high class of people who are more enjoying in lifestyle with luxury brands or less disposable income people who more care about the price of the brand for instance. So, the positioning of the brand can be different and the tone of the advertisement can be varied. So, it is really depending on which target group the company is trying to reach.
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Forms of fashion advertising
1. Print advertising and billboards
Magazines are a major sector for fashion advertising campaigns, especially in high fashion ends like London, Paris, New York, and Milan. Every campaign is trying to grab the chance to appear on the cover of major magazines like Vogue or Bazaar etc. Also billboards as well, the campaign advertising can be shown on the 5th Avenue/Times Square is the must. However, in order to appear on the cover of this famous magazine, the campaign has to really show what they have got, not just only the level of the brand but also the key visual identity that the brand can deliver to customers at every beginning and grab the target customers at the very first sight.
This is hard than any other method of fashion advertising because only one picture and only one vision need to deliver a message to the customer. However, this message can not be told in the picture directly. It all depends on how the receiver (the audience) thinking of the picture. Customers might have thousands of ideas of the message in terms of the vision.
And this message is different from television commercials in which customers can be directly told what it is.
So, it’s very important for the fashion advertiser to understand the history of the brand and characteristics of the brand and then develop the ‘key visual identity.’ In other words, it requires fashion advertisers to keep the central concept of the brand and then developed a creative vision of the brand to connect the potential customers.
The Beckett Simonon Case Study
Take a look at the Beckett Simonon campaign below. What’s your first thought after you are seeing these ads? Simple? Colorful? Or in deep thought?
I would buy this brand, it looks classic! And why? It’s because all the sets besides the shoes are all simply showing how the shoe made from- the scissors, the sewing machine and they are all classic. This is how the ads connected to me and this is a key visual which allows you to think about the meaning of the ads
2. Commercial Television Campaigns
TV is a very expensive mass marketing channel nowadays. Even the very large and typical luxury brands are willing to burn their money on television commercials easily. However, we can’t ignore that the branding power of the TV. Firstly, TV commercials can help the campaign to target a wide range of audiences from high-status society to low-income groups. It is the quickest way to raise brand awareness in the ’30s to ’60s of commercials.
Secondly, TV commercials have its advantage of showing the movement of fashion brands than print ads. It will give the fashion brand the best result of showing different angles of the brand by seeing models walk on the runway for example.
So with the campaign, this has a big budget needed to take the benefit from TV commercials. So, which label and level of fashion brands normally using in TV commercials? And what strategies needed to go with TV commercials? As I mentioned before, global company like Louis Vuitton which has a large budget was launched its first TV commercial in 2012“homeland “in order to target a wider market
The strategy that most of the campaigns are using on the TV commercial normally focuses on entry-level products so they can target a wide range of audiences. What are the entry levels of products? They are including fragrances, small leather products or cosmetics. At last, I would like to stress the goal of fashion advertising again. It is to connect customer’s emotions and desire of buying the fashion brand. So the storytelling of the campaign is also important to the TV commercial of the fashion campaign.
3. High profile individuals & celebrities
We are normally seeing that celebrities are wearing high-end fashion brands or masterpieces on either the red carpet or on the music/ movie award. This is really giving the chance to the fashion campaign to showcase their new season brands and expose the fashion brands to the audience. And of course, most of the time, it works for the campaign and gained the best opportunity to advertise the campaign in front of the audiences and mass media by high profile celebrities. This another way that fashion advertising targets potential customer, not just only for wealthy people like superstars but also indirectly affects the public audience.
There are many ways that a high profile individual can help the campaign to increase the brand awareness:
- Firstly, celebrities are showing on the red carpet as I mentioned earlier.
- Secondly, fashion weeks in New York or Paris for example. It will really show that how popular that fashion brand is amongst celebrities.
- Thirdly, a fashion project with celebrities, a fashion film, for example, will give the campaign the best result of marketing and advertising via its spokesman because of the good image of the spokesman.
- Fourth, the masterpieces of fashion brand which are shown in the movie and TV series will have the great exposure of all time and becomes an everlast classic along with the movie.
4. Department store and merchandising
For both department store and merchandising, they normally present customers with images of a specific lifestyle. It could be a selection of top brands in the world or it could be a very sporty and classic brand. They are often using storytelling of the brand through store windows. In-store displays and special events to encourage them to buy the brand. This is another way of introducing the brand in fashion advertising.
For example, Abercrombie Fitch has turned itself inside the store into a piece of art by the design of wall painting, displaying, and the lighting in the shanghai store at JingAn district. The message they are trying to tell the customers is all about the sporty, muscular, and stuff image of the western style of the brand. They had also the big fashion street event for the grand opening in April 2014 Shanghai. It was quite successful on increasing the buzz and sales of the campaign (Abercrombie & Fitch).
Secondly, Department store will work closely with fashion buyers and journalists. To work with the fashion buyer is to understanding the trend of fashion in the new coming season and promotion. To work with journalists, the reason is very obvious- to get as much as media coverage as possible! In the 21 century, fashion shows which hosted by the department stores are becoming more and more popular and now not just fashion buyers and media people to attend the fashion show, but also the private clients who are rich or famous.
5. Social media & Bloggers
Last, but not least, the impact of social media has changed the ways of communication between the brand and customer. Technology encourages people to interact with brands and it becomes another important method of fashion advertising. The steps to let the customer engage the social media are involvement to engagement and then recall to stimulating. Many social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube or Pinterest have offering fashion brands methods to promote their campaign and connect with the audience.
And on the social media website, the company can get a response in a very short time in terms of the design of the fashion clothes or garments, etc. On the other hand, if the fashion brand is very good. It can increase brand awareness and reputation in a very short period of time. But if it’s bad or there is no advanced of designing of the fashion brand, it will harm the brand too.
Bloggers are basically writing the fashion news and trend to let the fashion people get inspired by their idea of fashion. So Bloggers are playing a role of introducing the fashion brand all over the world. They are directly promoting the fashion brand or they can make comments on the fashion brand in a good way or make the brand with a bad image. So the companies have to have a very good relationship with the entire media specialist/ bloggers for their reputation of the brand.
How to find the right fashion advertising for your fashion brand in China?
In all, fashion advertising is all about how to help a fashion brand to deliver a massage to the fashion customer by using print advertising, TV, individual celebrities, department stores and social media. If you want to know more about how the fashion advertising works for a fashion brand, you contact us on MarketingToChina.