Models are a thing of the past, well, at least when it comes to fashion advertisement campaigns. Brands such as Chanel, Puma, and Marc Jacobs are taking advertising in a new direction by using celebrity figures in their ads to boost familiarity and relevance to the consumer.
Celebrities come with their own built-in audiences that want a relevant endorsement from a trusted source, therefore, when fashion brands use a celebrity in their ads, there is a better chance of selling the product they are promoting.
Brands use their ad campaigns to convey a message to their customer. Lately, ads are shifting away from the idea of using only young beautiful models. Instead, companies are expanding the age range of those in their ads to send a more relatable message to the consumer. However, these messages aren’t just restricted to the clothing the company sells. For instance, in Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2016 campaign, Bette Midler, Lana Wachowski, and Sandra Bernhard were featured because they were “people who have and continue to inspire me and open my mind to different ways of thinking and seeing.” Marc Jacobs wrote on his Instagram.
What a privilege it is to know your heroes. My earliest memory of Bette Midler was somewhere around the age of nine years old. I remember (at that young precocious age) hearing about her performances in the basement of the Ansonia Hotel’s, Continental Baths. I vividly remember the genuine excitement and love I had for Bette’s music. I was curious and excited by her energy, power and the exuberance in her voice and bold, brassy glamour. To this day, I still credit Bette Midler (unbeknownst to her) with a large part of my foray into fashion design. At age ten when I discovered the image drawn by Richard Amsel for her album cover, I was so instantly enamored by the silhouetted Bette in a black dress wearing platform sandals with a wedge of red curly hair that I recreated it on the back of a jean jacket with acrylic paint and embroidery floss and proudly wore it to school. The onset of the spring/summer 2016 season began with my interest in the pride of being an American, however, I have always maintained that I’m a New Yorker above all else, a different breed entirely - one whom at nine years old is aware of the Continental Baths and more importantly the sexy, glamorous and sublime, Bette Midler. After a conversation with Katie Grand about New York nostalgia she had recommended a documentary on the BBC that profiled Bette throughout her career and New York City. While I have always felt a certain connection with and influence by Bette, the moment that struck me so profoundly was a statement she made about her footprints from the past disappearing as she retraced old haunts of her once familiar New York. It all felt so relevant and apropos of the pieces of the yet-to-be collection that lay before me weeks before the show. It reminded me of the pride I felt in having the privilege of calling myself a born and raised New Yorker. To her beauty, her brass, her glamour. To that energy, vitality, verve, nerve and curve… I’m so happy to share this beautiful portrait by David Sims. Ladies and Gentleman, the Divine Miss M!
Each of these three women featured in the campaign are older than the faces that are normally seen in fashion campaigns, therefore this opens the door for another age range to shop Marc Jacobs and relate to the brand.
Celebrity ad campaigns have become a huge hit for fashion brands. They provide brands with a loyal fan base, large social media reach and their pop culture relevance. So, what are your thoughts? Does seeing your favorite celeb in an ad affecting your shopping experience?