Deep messages in print ads balance materialistic guilt
Passion for fashion and self-exploration have always been
seen as polar opposites, but clothing manufacturers want to change
that. Ads with messages urging readers to find beauty and greatness
within themselves are the latest thing in consumer print advertising.
Ads by companies such as Moschino and Kenneth Cole haven't
abandoned the doll-like models blamed for creating low self-esteem
in little girls. Instead, they slap fortune-cookie thoughts on
top of moody model shots: "Do clothes have the power to
make you happy? Will fashion be the new opium of the people?"
Some companies take a different approach. Timberland, for
example, rants in tones worthy of inspirational speakers and
self-help books: "Every single one of us is called to be
a king, a queen, a hero in our ordinary lives."
Is all this feel-good rhetoric designed to make us feel better
about buying these brands? Whatever the message, the ads do make
readers stop and pore over a page.
by Stacey King
|Moschino (top) and Timberland ads sound off
about self-esteem, consumerism and the oppressive world of fashion.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.