16 October 2018
Dior Advertisement Analysis
Most companies use marketing strategies to capture the attention of targeted audiences in order to sell their products. For instance, a clothing company may use a celebrity in an advertisement to grab the attention of an audience that admires this famous individual. This would be an example of Ethos; the appeal of credibility or character. Other companies use not only Ethos, but also Logos and Pathos as well as some psychological appeals. While these persuasive strategies may seem simple and quite harmless, some high fashion companies take it to a whole new level. Specifically, the luxury company Dior advertisements are an example of how some companies use the strategies to their advantage. One Dior advertisement showcases some of the strategies used to grab the attention of certain audiences. The advertisement involves two models trying to part ways in a certain manner. This ad takes advantage of different advertising strategies and uses sex appeal, snob appeal, and escapism to sell its high-end and expensive products. In addition to the advertising strategies it uses, it also reinforces gender stereotypes between men and women.
This particular Dior advertisement uses several types of advertising strategies that are psychologically appealing for the audience it is trying to reach. The advertisement shows a woman wearing a sophisticated black dress while holding onto a luxury product—a Dior handbag. Furthermore, the male in the ad is wearing a fashionable black suit. The sophisticated dress, suit, and handbag are an example of snob appeal. The outfits that are being worn and the handbag imply that the two models are wealthy in some way which can make the audience subconsciously want to live in a similar way, thus creating a desire to have a piece of that rich lifestyle. That piece to that life specifically being the luxury handbag that is made by Dior. In addition, the woman’s dress is low cut and tight. Because of how low cut and tight the dress is, her cleavage is exposed, and her figure is noticeable. This is an example of using sex appeal. By the model wearing a dress that shows off so much of her body, it is obvious that a certain type of audience is being targeted. Authors Katherine Toland Frith and Barbara Mueller of the article “Advertisements Stereotype Women and Girls” argue that “In fashion advertising, women are often shown lying on bearskin rugs, wearing furs and feathers, or dressed in tight-fitting leather clothes. These kinds of ads have been criticized for positioning women as “prey.” It is possible that the female model is dressed to look defenseless which can seem attractive to parts of the audience. Another example of the psychological appeal the company uses in their advertisement is escapism. In the setting of the ad, it is a futuristic city. The entire background seems to be set in the future. Audiences may see the advertisement as an escape to the future and away from their current busy lives.
Not only does the ad possess plenty of psychological appeals, it also reinforces gender stereotypes. In the advertisement, the man is strongly gripping the woman’s arm in an attempt to prevent her from leaving. The woman does not seem to want leave the man, or walk away, or pull away from his tight grasp. This implies that she is submissive and weak as she does not seem to even care that the man is holding her back from wherever she needs to go. In addition, the woman is seen staring off into the distance. She appears to be in complete bliss, not acknowledging the fact that she is being held back. Her eyes gaze away from the camera, and it is unknown to the audience as to what she could possibly be thinking of. The woman’s gaze is considered to be submissive and passive. According to researcher Erving Goffman, one of the symbolic behaviors used in advertisements is the “Psychological or licensed withdrawal. This refers to poses for women where they appear to be drifting off (gazing away from the camera), daydreaming, or staring blankly out of the frame.” Also, the way the man is gripping the woman can be seen as aggressive and dominant. The position the female model is in and her obliviousness to the situation furthers the stereotype that women are weak and submissive to not only males but also in any situation they might be in. The advertisement also supports the idea that men are in control and dominant in a relationship because of the way the male model is grabbing onto the female model. It also indirectly sends the message that men can just take what they want in life, even women. However, this is not true in today’s society.
Many companies use different types of advertising strategies in their advertisements to reach for the attention of the audience. These companies may try to use strategies that will involve logic, emotions, or even credibility. To go along with these advertising strategies, they may try to use psychologically appealing elements to go the extra mile and get the full attention of the audience they want. These appeals may include snob appeal, sex appeal, escapism and the list continues on. Of course, high fashion luxury companies are not excluded when it comes to using these strategies and a majority take advantage of what they can strategically do. Some use subtle ways to grasp the attention of the audience while others choose to do so in a bolder way. For example, the company Dior uses a mix in how they get the attention of the audience. In one ad, they use not only sex appeal and snob appeal, they also use escapism. Dior had impressively used a mix of psychological appeals to create an incredibly well-done advertisement. What overshadows their cleverly done advertisement is the fact that it reinforces gender stereotypes between men and women.
Frith, Katherine Toland, and Barbara Mueller. “Advertisements Stereotype Women and Girls.”
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Stewart, Ivy McClure, and Kate Kennedy. “Advertisements Stereotype Men.”
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