Advertising Propaganda in Fashion

Celebrity Endorsement In The Fashion Industry
By: Kody Tibbetts

     Advertisers favorite and most widely known propaganda technique is the testimonial. What better way to influence a consumer to buy a product, then having their beloved idol preaching to them how effective it is? Most people grow up trying to follow in the footsteps of their idol. After seeing that person satisfied with the product, it gives the perspective customer a reason to imitate and become a customer as well.

     There are many successful advertising techniques in the marketing world. Testimonial is successful because in today’s society, everyone conforms to what’s “in”. Fashion seekers are always trying to keep up with the new styles. So, the companies who produce the accessories, clothes, and jewelry often have superstars or celebrities endorse their product. This marketing technique has proved successful and will continue to be a goldmine for many years to come. A prime example of testimonial advertising is the commercial on YouTube of Phil Mickelson wearing a Rolex watch. Rolex is a very high-class watch; it often sells upwards to 5,000 dollars. Since the prices of the watches are not cheap, the company needed a little boost on their advertising, making people “have to have it” and to disregard the price. Rolex then took the testimonial route, which is a common technique in the world of marketing. Consumers see Phil Mickelson, currently the seventh best golfer in the world, sporting the Rolex watch and they often go out and buy one, simply just because he was wearing it. 

     The accessories are a must in fashion today, you don’t only need nice clothes anymore, and it’s all about what else your wearing. Therefore, companies have to conform to what is selling. Sunglasses or “Shades” are a monumental piece to an outfit, mostly worn during the day because of the sun. Dolce and Gabbana is one of the highest-class brands of clothing and accessories in the world. So, to portray that image, they chose Madonna for their testimonial advertising, which is very intelligent if you break it down. Madonna is a bit of an older woman now; she represents class and maturity to some extent. Thus, her fan base is that of middle-aged women, who are trying to make themselves appear “more sexy” in a sense. So, for her to be wearing the sunglasses would bring in more revenue compared to if Hannah Montana wore them. Testimonial advertising is all about choosing the right celebrity or superstar to represent their product. If the wrong one is chosen, they aren’t going to get their message out to the right consumer group. 

     “The difference between style and fashion is quality” a quote by Gorgio Armani, which I feel, represents the company very well. Their product has always been one of prestige and high-class society. So for them to use a testimonial technique their superstar has to be one that represents their company to the best of their ability. The example I found was Christian Bale wearing a Giorgio Armani Suit. Which is a very intelligent testimonial advertising superstar to represent their suits. Christian Bale was the main actor in the box office sensation “Batman”. In the movie Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) always wears suits similar to the one worn in the Gorgio Armani advertisement. This advertisements consumer base is one of middle-aged men. Kids and teens would rarely spend the money for a Gorgio Armani Suit. The company is trying to reach out to
middle-aged men and looking at their previous advertisements, I would infer that their company is producing a large amount of revenue.

     America is not the only country to use the testimonial advertising technique. The success of this technique has been seen worldwide.  The most recent advertisement I’ve come across was the new Cristiano Ronaldo underwear shoot for Emporio Armani Underwear. Cristiano Ronaldo is known world wide as one of the best soccer players to play the game. If that’s not enough to market, they removed his shirt so women around the world will be attracted to the advertisement as well. This is the best way to use a testimonial technique because not only does the consumer base cover men of any age, but also woman who will outright buy the product for their men. This advertisement influences men and woman of any age to buy the Emporio Armani Underwear, thus making the revenue of their company skyrocket, not to mention that the advertisement is international, so not only does it portray to Americans, but also anywhere the advertisement is shown. The technique has proven to be successful in many ways, but often people don’t realize how much is paid to the superstars that represent companies. A major part of a celebrity’s income isn’t so much of the movies they play in or the sports they compete in. The real money is made in endorsements. A company finds someone they want to represent their company and pay’s them an almost imaginary number to just wear their product in public. For example, David Beckham signed a 160 million dollar deal with Adidas (Rovell). 

     As stated above, the marketing technique of Testimonial Advertising is almost unfair to deploy. It is exponentially more useful in today’s ever-changing fashion industry, then any other kind of marketing. Having superstars sell their businesses products is in many ways more successful than trying to market their own products. Society is obsessed with trying to look for the next fad or the newest thing. Testimonial advertising hits on all cylinders, it uses superstars for the flash, and the type of celebrity to determine the consumer base the product will be sold to. The fashion industry is one of the hardest industries to be successful in. The reason is simple-fashion is an ever changing industry; something that is accepted one week and is gone in the next. America is even looked down upon in fashion by France. So to start off Americans are in the hole; but the advertising techniques, especially Testimonial advertising help the Fashion industry stay well dressed. 

Armani, Giorgio. "Giorgio Armani Quotes." 
Find the Famous Quotes You Need, Quotations. Web. 02 Mar. 2011
Rovell, Darren. " SPORTSBUSINESS - Report of Beckham-adidas Mega-deal Sails Wide." 

          ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports. 11 Aug. 2007. Web. 02 Mar. 2011.