Fashion has changed a great deal over the last three centuries.

As history changes, evidently fashion changes accordingly to adapt to the times. Even nowadays, the fashion trade continues on as time goes by. Advertising is an exceptional way to engage with customers. It helps inform them about the brands available in the market and the variety of products that may be useful to them. Advertising is targeted to everyone, including children, young and old. Various media types are utilized to advertise and special strategies and techniques are suited to the purpose of the advertisement (Oubaiche, 2015). Informative and persuasive marketing are both powerful techniques to convey product strengths and to compel customers to shop for items and offerings.

The main difference between these advertising techniques relates to the methods used to deliver results. Although informative advertising may utilise persuasive techniques, it relies more heavily on statistics. Persuasive advertising seeks to appeal to the customers’ emotions in order to close the sale (Lister, 2017). Many different persuasive techniques are used in fashion advertising.

The most widely used is provocation. Provocation can be defined as deliberately causing anger or any other strong reaction. When it comes to advertising, provocation is used as a means to attract audience attention. The majority of research regarding offensive advertising has been conducted in Western countries because they are more open minded compared to Eastern countries. Although provocation is a good way to attract audience attention, it is not a suitable technique for all brands as different brands have different brand identities and different target audiences. For example, if a company needed to advertise a brand or clothes for children, is provocation a suitable technique? Definitely not. This is because children tend to think that the people in advertisements or the figures on television are addressing them personally and may even imitate them (AdAge, 2003).

Take Tommy Hilfiger for example. The identity of the brand is affordable, accessible, and aspirational. It also exudes a cool, classic American vibe. While Tommy Hilfiger does not have the luxury image of Louis Vuitton, Gucci or Channel, they came up with a strategy that served the company well amidst the global recession. Thomas Jacob Hilfiger also known as Tommy Hilfiger, said:”Would I like to be a luxury brand? Absolutely,” Hilfiger said in a keynote address at the recent Wharton Retail Conference. “But I’ve been forced to deal with reality throughout my life …. I have focused on being an affordable premium design brand — which in this economic slide has served us very well.”As such, Tommy’s advertising style exudes harmony, relaxation and comfort.

It also always incorporates family, friends or partners.Conversely, certain advertising campaigns have been developed for the purpose of provoking audiences, resulting in controversial debates. The general public, judicial system, advertisers, as well as the advertising industry’s self-regulating establishments claim that provocative advertising somewhat subverted traditional advertising practices. These advertisements basically use shock advertising as a means to gain attention from the media and its target audience. It has become a norm in the fashion industry to gain publicity by publishing controversial advertisements and creating a buzz around it. There are many brands like Calvin Klein, Dolce and Gabbana and many others which may be blamed for unsuitable advertisements over the past few years. Hence, the aim of this paper is to investigate the persuasive technique that is used in fashion advertising.

The study will take into consideration the success as well as failure of this technique by discussing a variety of case studies. 


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