The Impact of Advertising on Fashion

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The use of advertising in the fashion industry was started as early as in the Victorian period. Advertising is been very important to the fashion industry as its one way of reaching a mass group of people quickly, as fashion today is very competitive and need speed marketing. Advertising is used from the high street fashion retailers to the low fashion retailers. According to (Dittrich,2000) it has been estimated that an average women sees between 400 to 600 advertisements per day. The fashionable female silhouette has changed with time and the body has been manipulated frequently (Fay and Price 1994) The most famous type of fashion that today’s consumers goes for is the fast fashion, where the latest line of clothing from a designer is copied by the fashion retailer especially stores in the middle fashion market like Top Shop, Marks and Spencer’s, Next , New look, and H&M. Thirty-two percent say that they get their clothing ideas from fashion magazines, up from 23% the previous year. (cottoninc 2000).

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In fast fashion, sourcing and buying decisions are compounded by the speed by which decisions have to be made and innovation introduced into the store (Bruce & Daly 2006). The introduction to the store can be given through a mass media that is advertising, advertising can be done through many ways like television, print, ad radio, an even through word of mouth. According to Aaker et al (1994) advertising is effective to influence consumer attitude. Govoni et al mentioned that the most images of well-liked brands are established by successful advertising. Modern consumers want to be entertained as well as informed through advertising (Lea-Greenwood 2002). In 1996 companies invested more than $1 billion in athletic endorsements deals and approximately $ 10 billion more to advertise and promote the celebrities endorsements (Farrell et al., 2000). A recent estimate indicates that approximately 25 percent of American commercials use celebrity endorses (Shimp, 2003). Celebrity endorsements have become prevalent technique in advertising in the past recent years. The consumer’s attention is the most important to the retailers. The retailers use advertising as one of the strongest aspect to catch their consumer’s attention. in Japan, there are roughly 70 percent of Japanese commercials featuring a celebrity (Hus and McDonald, 2002).

Advertising also has some negative and positive effects, but in this paper both the aspects will be investigated. Fashion brands and retailers have a long-standing relationship with women’s magazines and, more recently, with men’s magazines (Mintel 2005). Fast fashion always need more advertising than the high street fashion market, the only way the can reach out to a mass audience is through media and through word of mouth. It has been estimated that the average woman sees between 400 and 600 adverts per day (Dittrich, 2000).

Looking particularly at this age group who all read magazines and one of the famous magazines is the heat magazine, where this magazine compares the style and clothing of celebrities and give out the cheaper way to gain the look of the celebrities. In today’s star-focused society, it may be more accurate to see celebrities and fashion magazines as a confluence in women’s apparel-buying decision process. (Cottoninc 2000). The fast fashion retailers have to choose the right kind of medium to reach the particular target audience and should help the retailers to reach out to their consumers before their competitors reach. But while the celebrity influence does seem to ebb proportionally as a woman ages, it still plays a large role in the wardrobes of average women. According to the Monitor, 26% of women ages 25 to 34, and 24% of women ages 35 to 55, indicated that celebs served as their personal fashion innovators (cottoninc 2004). This fashion for slimness portrayed throughout almost all women’s fashion advertising provides a standard for social comparison and respectively heightened dissatisfaction amongst females (Graner & Grafinkel, 1980). When confronted with ultra thin models on a regular basis this is bound to have an effect especially when the thin ideal are totally unrealistic of women’s bodies today (Hamburg, 2002). “Celebrities are our new designers,” relates Irenka Jakubiak, editor-in-chief of Accessories Magazine, the trade publication (cottoninc 2004). “The Red Carpet is our new runway. Designers are going overboard to make the product, and manufacturers and retailers are turning stuff around fast to have it available for consumers (cottoninc 2004). In early 2001, approximately one in five marketing programs in the UK featured some type of celebrity endorse, with the number closer to one in four programs in the US (Erdogan et al 2001). Research has found that celebrities are more effective than other types of endorsers, such as “the professional expert”, “the company manger”, or “the typical consumer” (Friedman and Friedman, 1979). Glamour editor Jo Elvin said: “Kate’s back with a vengeance. Her maverick approach to fashion is an inspiration.”(smh 2008)

Advertising also helps to sell new products to the consumers, this way it helps the product to be marketed in the industry quick and efficiently. Advertising also manipulates the consumers using psychology in most of the advertisements. A woman who may not directly point to a celebrity influence in considering her wardrobe is likely to purchase something within a trend that can typically be tied back to a famous person. (Cottoninc 2004). Fighting AIDS is always of great importance, and H&M is overwhelmed with the enthusiasm and the commitment from each and every celebrity involved in this collection.” Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M head of design. (Onenationmagazine 2009). “Celebrities are the trendsetters of our time. And they are wearing clothing and accessories that are more accessible to the general public (visavismag 2009). In the end, celebrities and modern fashion will always be inseparable commodities, and will continue to influence each other, and in turn the American public. (Helium 2009). Researches suggest that endorsers are more effective where there is a “fit” between the endorsers and the endorsed products. (Till and Busler, 2000). Psychologists Petty and Casioppo suggest the Elaboration Likehood Model (ELM) to explain the process consumers to be persuaded by the advertising message (Shimp, 2003). In a recent report in The Sunday Telegraph, Ashley Sharpe, head of money research at Which? Magazine stated: ‘The danger is that, if the use of a credible celebrity is combined with a message that sounds great but doesn’t tell you the full story, then many more people could be taken in, because they trust the person promoting the product.” (Fashionunited 2004).

2.1 Aim:

To analysis the role of advertising and body image in the context of fashion and manipulation of the consumers.

3.1 Objectives:

  • To analysis the use of advertising in the fashion industry.
  • To analysis the manipulation of consumers through advertisements by the fashion retailers.
  • To analysis the impact of celebrities on fashion and consumers.
  • To analysis the relationship between fashion and body image.

4.1Literature Review:

In today’s world to market a product and to make to reach the target audience on time is done through advertisements, where media is the one of the medium that can reach out to mass target consumers on time and to make the product famous among the consumers. The media’s images and messages become what they see as a soothing voice in a storm of conflict, confrontation and confusion (Thomsen et al, 2001). In aspects to fast fashion the ideology of the retailers should reach the consumers fast, as the fast fashion industry is competitive. The most advanced marketing companies in the country had learned how to adapt their strategies to this new medium and it completely changed their perspectives. (Henry, 1986).

Looking at the fashion market like Top Shop, Next, Marks and Spencer’s, New Look, H&M. tend to spend much more than the other fashion retailer like Zara who does not spend anything of advertising for them marketing their products is through their own customers, where they believe word of mouth is more than enough to promote their products, this only helps to reach out a small group of people where the mass consumers wont be aware of their latest collection in store. On the other than the other retailers spend a lot on advertising and try to reach out a mass group of audience and market their product fast, this also helps to see the demand of the particular garment and helps not to over stock.

The relatively small size of the UK and its heavy population concentrations allow this system to work particularly well in the interest of the marketers. (Henry, 1986). Through advertising most of the retailing companies develop their marketing strategy. Press advertising was the most important medium for 18 of the top 30 fashion retailer advertisers, and seven spent their entire advertising budget here. (Mintel 2005). Advertising is now taking up the upper hand in the fashion industry, which helps the retailers to market their product.

Advertising is mostly done through manipulating the consumers, but the consumer does not like the idea of the retailers manipulating them, this is where psychology advertising comes into place. In this type of advertising is where they use colours, shapes, sounds, etc. The fashion industry works in this way by using adverts that imply by purchasing the brand the consumers will be buying the social esteem and image of model (Anderson et al, 2000). The advertisements are made to catch the consumer’s attention to the product. Although the highest paid super model of the 1900’s were not classed as waifs i.e. Cindy Crawford, designers and magazines chose to use extremely thin models to advertise clothing and beauty products (Gorgan, 1999)

Mark’s and Spencer’s have one of the biggest advertising budgets in the fashion industry. With an estimated A£ 43.5 million in 2006/07, making up a 12.0% share in the total (Mintel 2007). After Mark’s and Spencer’s’ Next have spent a lot of advertising their products. There are positive and negative aspects of fashion advertising. The positive aspect helps the retailers to boost their income whilst the consumers get the latest range of copied clothing from designer at a lower price which help them to look fashionable and to keep a track of the latest fashion. Employment opportunities for women are steadily improving, meaning that they have ever greater spending power and economic autonomy. They are the most important consumers of clothing and footwear, buying not only for themselves, but also for their children and male partners. Additionally, they enjoy fashion advertising much more than men and more influenced by it. (Mintel 2007). The negative aspect is the fashion is always related to skinny, thin, flawless skin models, this makes the consumers want to look like them. For the retailers is that fashion is one industry which changes season to season and the clothing line as well changes according to the current trend as fashion changes quickly the retailers tend to spend more on advertising very time a new trend is come into fashion.

The average woman is estimated to see between 400- 600 adverts per day (Dittrich, 2000). One of the main reasons that advertising is used by the fashion retailers is to grab the attention of the consumers. Most of the fast fashion retailers target audience is from the age group 20 – 40 years. Teenagers ages 16-19 are more inclined to use fashion advertising to get inspiration (38% compared to 18% on average) (Mintel 2007). The retailers keeps in mind the age group and make the advertisements which will be liked by the group and catch their attention. The other way the retailers get the attentions from the consumers is by sale and offers which will make a consumer to walk into the store. On the other than magazine also help the fast fashion retailers to sell the garment faster as they compare the celebrities style which a cheaper alternative to gain the same style by the consumers. Fashion and beauty magazine availability is immense in society today (Gordon, 2000). Fashion magazines are a great influence on the women of today where they want to look like the celebrities. This influence the consumers mind of being thin and skinny to gain the style of the celebrities. As the amount of media attention devoted to celebrities increase it’s apparent that celebrities them selves have taken up the position of role models (Weaver 1997).

4.2 Impact of body image:

In today’s world fast paced society relationships and judgments about others start with outward appearance while personality and inner values play a secondary role (Anderson, 2000). Western society is obsessed with body image. Women want to be thinner; men want to be more muscular (BBC, 2009). The feminist perspective suggest that in the 1960’s thinness was equated with independence and success- today it has become the defining criteria for feminine beauty (Kilbourne, 1994). This has become a very important factor among people of today to look good outside, which has a major influence on the daily lifestyle of the person. In any form of interaction or communication verbal cues account for only 7% of total impact, vocals cues for 38%, whilst facial cues account for a major 55% (Mehrabian, 1972). With the face playing a central role in the way we think and feel about both ourselves and others (Partridge, 1996). The world that we live in has move towards to a position which has a big stress on appearance. Preoccupation with the visual image if self and others has become an obsession in a society where people continually compare themselves to cultural ideals of beauty (Coward, 1984).

‘Advertisements for women reflected changing notions of the female body shape away from sever body chart to angular boyish shape’ (p.76, Reekie, 1987).

The ideal human body began way back in time, where it started in ancient Greece. Viewing the body as potentially godlike, it was the Greeks who began the custom of treating the body as an aesthetic object (Seid, 1989). The society of today has experienced a big outburst of interest in the human body like never before. Today’s consumers are very conscious of what they wear and how they look from the out side. Reekie (1978) suggested that one can look to advertisements for women they reflect the changing ideals of body shape. This has happened as a result of a huge influx of visual images of the human body circulated by the mass media (Shilling, 1997). The body beautiful augmented by fashion advertising in particular has helped lay the foundation for our preoccupation with looks and the priority we give to visual appearance. (Coward, 1984). Physical attractiveness is central to human communication as virtually all communication situations involve visual contact and the more physically attractive a person is, the more favourably they are respond to (Patzer, op cit). Other studies consolidate this view and results have indicated that more physically attractive people will have socially exciting and more active lives than less attractive people (Bassili, 1981). Body image is the term widely accepted as internal representation of your own outer appearance: your own unique perception of your body (Thompson et al, 1990). Physical attractiveness trend is a belief that an individual should look good and get better in looking good, which enables physically attractiveness. This enhancement is seen by many as a natural instinct that has been a trait of mankind since ancient times (Fiser and Fiserova). There is a huge money and time spent in cosmetic surgery in today’s world, in order to look like their idols. As in the western society there is an increasing importance in looking good physically. The physically attractiveness phenomenon is deeply entrenched in modern society and there seems no future development likely to reduce it importance (Patzer, 1985). “What is beautiful is good” which was said by Dion et al (1972). When a study was taken by Dion et al found that physically attractive people have more socially attractive personality, they have happier marriages and in a whole their lives are happier and more successfully than the one who are less attractive. When women were asked whether they were willing to sacrifice comfort for fashion, 40% said yes, up 3.7% from 1998. (Cottoninc 2000).

4.3The impact of Ideal body image on consumers:

In today’s consumer’s society where women’s bodies are frequently used to sell products, the ultimate commodity has become the female ideal body image. (Orbach, 1993). Since the 1960’s the ideal body for women bodies has become lighter while real bodies have been getting heavier (Garneret al 1980). This has resulted in a bigger difference between the real and the ideal (Benson,1997). As popular models and actress represent current female ideals it is necessary to examine their depictions in the media (Wiseman et a, 1990). Today a lot of consumers are overwhelmed because of media. The effects that advertisements have on the consumers have changed everything from their fashion to their lifestyle in the society. Circulated as the ‘norm’, notions about the ideal are culturally specific trends that become mistaken for reality (Gorgan, 1999). The concept of an ideal body is given to us by the society of the world of today. The ideal now dictates a slim- hard – toned body (Benson, 1997).

‘this perfect female body would be between five foot five and five foot eight, long legged, tanned and vigours looking’ (p.39 Coward, 1984).

The media has drilled into the minds of people about the ideal body as being thin, tall and looking good to the society. With links to neurobiology, ideals are viewed as in-built responses guiding men and women in how they want to look and how they want others to look (Anderson, 2000). Overweight people are discriminated against in a culture that is unforgiving and judgmental towards fat people (Anderson, 2000). An ideal body for women has to perfect without any flaws. Achieving the ideal body will take time and money, where people are willing to spend these days. There are people in the society will go all the way out to look perfect and get their ideal body shape, even if the person has to go through many cosmetic surgery. In advertising technology has over taken, today every celebrities and super models have their photo shoot airbrushed before come out in magazines. Many of the images seen are artificially constructed using modern photographic techniques and air brushing (Coward, 1984). Although consumers know that these images are modified to look nice, they still opt for cosmetic surgery. Among other proposals are for success rates to be included on cosmetic surgery adverts and for local sports centres to be made more “female friendly” by being cleaner and safer (BBC, 2009). There are many celebrities have gone through many cosmetic surgeries and these consumers think this is the ideal body image and start to admired. Airbrushing should be banned in advertisements aimed at children to tackle “body image pressure”, say the Liberal Democrats. (BBC, 2009). President Douglas McGeorge has said he was particularly concerned about “younger vulnerable readers of magazines who are being targeted very heavily” (BBC, 2009)

Although it is true that women may be entrapped in this system if beauty, the potential to change society and resist cultural pressure is negligible (Bordo, 1997). Smith (1990) believes that women should actively seek to achieve the ideal body in a form of femininity, body dissatisfaction is positive. He also argued that does not take in account the negative consequences of body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem and eating disorders. This also brings in the male to be more dominated and stronger than compared to women, where women are pressured to be thin and weak. The view also ignores the role of the fashion industry, which is said to dictate the ideal (Grogan, 1999). When a study was conducted on teenage boy’s (Huenemann et al, 1966) found that more than half of the response wanted bigger biceps, bigger chest and bigger shoulder. This should that the even male are now getting conscious about their body image and when it is looked back , the media started about in women and then now in men. A recent study says that cosmetic surgery is increasing rapidly in men. It has also been suggested that male dissatisfaction is more pronounced in older men (Anderson, 2000). Although men have different perspective of body image when compared to women. As women are objectified for the active male gaze, they become objects of desire and all emphasis is place on their bodies. (Mulvey, 1980). 36% women seriously consider plastic surgery cause they’re unhappy with the way they look. 90% of women said their bodies made them feel down and they think about it everyday. 50% of school girls say they are on a diet (BBC, 2001). The focus on women’s appearance has got out of hand – no-one really has perfect skin, perfect hair and a perfect figure, but women and young girls increasingly feel that nothing less than perfect will do.(BBC,2009). Body image is a person’s subjective evaluation of what it means to them to have that body within their culture (Grogan, 1999).

4.3 Effect of celebrity advertising on consumers and society:

Tellis, (1998) defined advertising as “communication a firm’s offer to customers by paid media or space”. There is no doubt that advertising is a formative influenced within modern Western culture (Pollay, 1986). According to recent research statistics, the number of celebrity advertisements has doubled in the past ten years. (Brandchannel ,2006).

‘There is now little dispute that the content of commercial television is primarily a vehicle to deliver audiences to advertise to advertisers and that glossy magazines serve that same purpose’ (p.75, Giles, 2003).

Studies show that we are significantly more dissatisfied with our own appearance after being shown TV ads featuring exceptionally slim and beautiful people. (BBC, 2001). The effect that advertising has on the consumers of today is very big impact. Studies have also shown that women who read fashion magazines are more likely to have poor body image and suffer from eating disorders (Harrison and Cantor, 1997). By becoming a reference point against which comparisons are made, fashion adverts can greatly effect men and women’s body esteem (Grogan, 1999). When a survey conducted by Glamour magazine (1984) found that 75% of women taught that they were fat. The advertisement is based on the marketing strategy of the company, when there is a marketing outcome it’s generally changing the behaviour of the consumers. The process are classified as cognitive that are know as consumers attitude (Tellis, 2004). According to Foxall (1998) consumers attitude is recognised as a crucial link between the consumers thinks about the products and advertisements and what they buy in the market place. Aker et al (1994) suggested that the attitude concept is an important factor to advertising Management. The attitude of the consumers in one of the important factor for a company to plan their marketing strategy, and to find out the consumers attitude can be done through advertisements.

‘The distortions are characteristic of anorexia and bulimia are some times literally and concretely evident in fashion advertising’ (p.134, Gordon, 2000).

First, studying the advertising efficiency on market outcome is mainly for accountability (Tellis, 2004). Few advertisements depict mundane levels of attractiveness and instead exclusively star the overwhelming handsome and beautiful (Patzer, 1985). It is such models that become icons and set the ideals to which people try to adhere (Ibanga, 2002). As the fashion industry is said to represent the true ideal of beauty models create the standard to which people are to meet (Winkler, 1994).

‘The task of the advertisers is to favourably dispose viewers to his product, his means, by and large, to show a sparkling version of that product in the context of glamorous events. The implication is that if you buy the one, you are on the way to realizing the other- and you should want to’ (p.26, Goffman, 1979)

Fashion has become a global business since the 1960’s to dress to have success and the power of the brand has become more significant in the past few years. The fashion advertisings has become a very powerful and a multi-pound business, as the brands have become more of a social symbol in the society of today. the survey found that online advertising could extend the reach of an ad by about 10% and increase brand awareness by around 6% (BBC,2003) Fashion plays a very major part of people’s lives. As models become role models, consumers are increasingly growing up with feelings of complete inadequacy attractive people are repeatedly shown in adverts on a daily basis (Body Image, 1998). In fashion adverts directed at both men and women the consumers is seduced, dazzled and offered a visual feast with the central piece, the object of desire being the model (Winkler, 1994). When a study was conducted by Garner (1997) among men and women how fashion models influenced their feelings about their appearance, 27% of women said that the always or more often compared themselves to models in magazines and 28% said that they study the shape of the models.

‘Modelling came to epitomise dominant characteristics of western femininity : the importance of appearance; fetishisation of the body; manipulation and moulding of the body; the discipline and labour associated with ‘beauty’ and body maintenance; the equation of youth with femininity lifestyles’ (p.70 Craik, 1993).

The Advertising Standards Authority said they received only a “small handful” of complaints on the issue. (BBC, 2009) In advertising magazines is one of the most important media to fashion to advertise their product, this results to a heavy use of magazine among the female consumers. The same applies to reading fashion magazines. Experiments show that magazine photographs of super-thin models produce depression, stress, guilt, shame, insecurity and body-dissatisfaction. (BBC, 2001). The volume of content is growing and it is trapping young people in particular, into unhealthy obsessions about their own bodies (BBC, 2008). The fashion industry works in this way by using adverts that imply that by purchasing the brand the consumer will be buying the social esteem and image of model (Anderson, 2000).

‘Thousands and billions of dollars came to ride on the common determination that these women were the most beautiful and fashionable in the world. It was a conspiracy bent on harnessing them to purely commercials needs’ (p.149, Howell, 2000)

President Douglas McGeorge has said he was particularly concerned about “younger vulnerable readers of magazines who are being targeted very heavily” (BBC, 2009). Men and women increasingly get their ideas of what they should look like from the imagery they see in the media (BBC, 2008). Highly attractive models act only to perpetuate such views, lowering satisfaction among viewers. (Grogan, 1999).




+/- pts.

Already Own and Like




Store Displays




People I See Regularly








Family Members








Fashion Magazines








Salespeople in Stores




Looking at the table above shows a clear view of what people look up to in terms of fashion in the year 2000. The highest in the table is the fashion magazines and then come the celebrities. This gives a very clear view that most of the consumers around the world follow the advertisement to get their fashion sense and these day’s it has a big effect on the society and their personality. According to Hall-Duncan (1979) claims that the content of fashion advertisements, its just not about clothes but also about the image that brings out the attitude of the person. Therefore in a sense it is both the cause and effect (Patzer, 1985). Thompson et al claims that a significant number of women and girls are exposed to print media. Fashion and beauty magazine availability is immense in society today (Gordon).

‘…women’s beauty and fashion magazines, which may be among the most influential media formats in perpetuating and reinforcing the socio-cultural preference for thinness and in creating a sense of dissatisfaction with one’s own body’ ( p.49, Harrison and Cantor, 1997).

In the society most of the people are influenced by the advertisements. This influence is not directly applicable to most endorsement advertising because there is very little interaction between the endorser and the consumer in the communication process (Kamins, 1989). Followers of socio-cultural theories have accused women’s magazines of being propaganda for the desirability if the thin ideal (Wolf, 1990).

‘The media’s images and messages become what they see as a soothing voice in a storm of conflict, confrontation and confusion ‘(p.60, Thomsen et al, 2001).

By the first decade of the twentieth century, the fashion models of Paris had already established a standard of extreme thinness (Gordon, 2000). Vogue employee wrote that the figure of the time was straighter with less of a bust and hips, more waist and long lean legs (Steele, 1985). The classic and most widely utilized method is the paid-for media advertisement mostly found in fashion magazines and on television. (Brandchannel, 2006). In receiving messages from parents, peers, mass media and other outlets, young people undergo a process of socialization in which they learn how to be consumers in the marketplace. (Lear et al, 2009). The presence and presentation of celebrity role models in pre-adolescent magazines, as well as details regarding the kinds of activities the celebrity participates in, may powerfully affect how girls view their role in today’s society (Fabrianesi et al , 2008).

4.4 Celebrity’s endorsements:

Any individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition on behalf of a consumer good by appearing with it in an advertisement (McCracken, 1989). Aaker et al (1997) say’s that “An endorser is a ‘source’ of the information in the advertisements, which plays an important role in persuasive communication”. Celebrity’s endorsements gives out an image that you move a step closer to the idols that the consumers admire by just buying one piece of garment. Celebrity endorsement transfers the personality and status of the celebrity as successful, wealthy, and distinctive directly to the brand. (brandchannel, 2006). When a celebrity endorses your company, it tells the consumer that the company is reputable, has good products or good customer service and is a sound company to deal with; Remember, the celebrity’s own image and reputation are at stake. (celebrityendorsements, 2009). Celebrity endorsement of luxury fashion is hardly a new phenomenon, as it has been around for several centuries (brandchannel, 2006). As Britain thrives on a huge and seemingly endless wave of celebrity obsession, stars are leaving their day jobs to endorse big brands. (, 2007). Fast fashion has become famous among the middle fashion markets like H&M, Zara, New Look, River Island, Marks & Spencer’s etc. these fashion retailers produce out the replica of a designers outfits which are endorsed by the celebrities which are sold at a reasonable price for the consumers to buy them and look like celebrities by copying their styles. Expected to be thinner than ever before we have witnessed female celebrities shrink to the depth of anorexia (Freeman, 2002). Tellis (1998) explains that “An endorser is a person, character or organisation that speaks or appears in an ad in support of the advertiser or its claim”. The process of endorsement is the identification, selection and use of endorsers to communicate with target audience (Tellis, 1998). When a celebrity endorse a product, the product gets its fame among the consumers immediately where as when a product has a model it will take time to get famous among the consumers. Linking it with a sports, movie or TV celebrity through a celebrity endorsement deal, the name of a product or a company can instantly acquire enormous lashings of glitz; glamour; charm; mass sex-appeal and, in the process, generate tremendous sales and revenues. It suddenly comes alive in multi-dimensions. (Celeb-brands, 2008). Mary Quant wanted models that would suite the clothing more ideally; she appealed models that had angular faces and long, lean, thin legs. (Craik, 1993). It is believed both shapes relate back to the same control and redirecting of the flesh (Chernin, 1983). Cindy Crawford, designers and magazines chose to use extremely thin models to advertise clothing and beauty products (Grogan, 1999). In the late 1990’s the look was born was termed ‘heroin chic’, the models looked as they were made to use heroin (Howell, 2000).

‘From time to time there’s is an emotional movement towards a certain type of women. She is a kind of resume of all our current street idols, most of them from the world of rock and other music, and she gradually becomes to be recognised as the look of the moment'(p.149, Howell, 2000).

Several celebrities have ventured into the fashion and accessories businesses and more are on the way. (Brandchannel,2006). The change in fashion is constant. Once a celebrity wears a particular look or dresses differently it immediately becomes the new trend in fashion, and the consumers blindly follow these styles showed by the celebrity. Celebrities have a huge impact on the consumers of today in regards to fashion. This is where all the middle market fashion retailers make a fortune by making the same cop garment worn by a celebrity. There are magazines where they have a celebrity wearing high end fashion garment and they give the alternative for a very cheap rate which are affordable by the consumers. Endorsements can range from the astonishing to the ridiculous, from Tiger Woods $100 million deal with Nike to Anthea Turner’s Flake wedding (BBC, 2001). Using stars to promote a company or its message grabs the public’s attention; it cuts through the advertising ‘clutter’ because we are fascinated with fame and famous people. Stars help give brands identity and sell more product. (BBC, 2001). Having a celebrity in your advertising is a great way to attract attention and create excitement for your products, and build awareness among your prospects and customers (celeb-brands, 2008). The celebrities that are most utilized in the promotion of luxury fashion brands are those in the film and music industries as a result of the major role that fashion plays in these entertainment sectors. (Brandchannel, 2006). The consensus of fashion marketers is that celebrities are more effective than models now in imprinting a brand in the customer’s mind. (Nytimes, 2005). Almost every business has a trading name but only a minority of those businesses however, have what could be classed as a ‘brand’, a ‘brand name’ or ‘celeb brand’. (Celeb-brands, 2008)

As Kylie Minogue launches her new range of soft furnishings we asked if it’s possible to kit your entire home in celebrity-endorsed products. (BBC, 2008). A slightly smaller stampede is expected this week when Lily Allen launches her clothing range at New Look. (, 2007). Nicole Kidman holds her own against female celebrities, with consumers around the world voting her one of the best female celebrities for product endorsements (au.acnielsen, 2006)

These days the fashion business are fascinated by Kate Moss and her collection Not content with covering the launch of her new range for Topshop, endless column inches and broadcast minutes anticipated the collection and breathlessly speculated throughout the countdown to ‘K-Day’. (,2007). The Moss effect is also set to carry the brand across the pond as part of a launch of Topshop boutiques in Barney’s department stores throughout the US. (, 2007).

“Once it became apparent that celebrities could sell clothes, asking them to put their name to ranges cast in their own style wasn’t a great leap. And it’s celebrity style that’s for sale, not celebrities’ clothes,” says Vogue’s Alexandra Shulman. (, 2007).

Studies have proved that celebrities endorsing a company or brand can greatly increase consumers’ awareness of an advertisement, capture their attention and make the advert more memorable (celebrityendorsements, 2009)

4.5 Advantage and disadvantage of celebrity’s endorsements:

First of all we see that some researches shown that more than 20 percent of all TV advertisements include celebrities and advertisers pay a lot of money for their services (Belch & Belch, 2001). Advertisers are ready to pay a lot of money to celebrities who are liked and respected by the consumers (Shimp, 2003). . The level of maturity in the retail brand concept has directed retailers in recent years towards the use of specific brand image building strategies such as celebrity endorsement (Burt, 2000). Celebrities are effective endorsers because of their symbolic aspirational reference group associations (Soloman and Assael, 1987) Firm’s believe that celebrities can gain consumer’s attention to the endorsed products/brands and transfer images values to these products/brands by virtue of their celebrity profile and attractive attributes. (Meenaghan and O’Mahony, 1997). There are many academic researchers that have studies the use of celebrity endorsements. According the Meenaghan andO’Mahony , consumers have a positive attitude towards celebrity endorsements. Celebrities can and do attract attention, publicity and profile, good and bad (Marketingfocus, 2004). Research has indicated that customers are more likely to choose goods and services endorsed by celebrities than those without such endorsements (Agrawal & Kamakura). People tend to commensurate the personalities of the celebrity with the brand thereby increasing the recall value. (Chillibreeze, 2009). Celebrities are loved and adored by their fans and advertisers use stars to capitalise on these feelings to sway the fans towards their brand. (Chillibreeze, 2009).

Firstly, many celebrities can be overused by endorsing several products and brands that may result in insincere perception of audience and reduce the effectiveness of advertising (Keller, 2004). Secondly, celebrities may get into trouble or lose popularity and diminish their marketing value to the brand (Keller, 2004). There are many examples that has been publishes such as O.J Simpson’s accusation on murder charges , celebrity endorsers may some times become liabilities to the brand they endorse (Shimp and till, 1998). American actor George C. Scott, an Oscar winner for his patriot movie, seems not a good choice to endorse the French Renault car (Keller, 2004). Some stars have a universal appeal and therefore prove to be a good bet to generate interest among the masses (Chillibreeze, 2009).

Special attention should also be paid to employ celebrities who have a direct connection with their endorsed product and who are perceived to be experts by the target audiences (Till and Busler, 1998). If there is no congruency, then the audience remember the celebrity and not the product (Byrne et al, 2003). This has been termed the “vampire” effect, where the celebrity has sucked the life-blood of the product dry (Evans, 1988). This terminology pertains to the issue of a celebrity overshadowing the brand. (Chillibreeze, 2009).

In an editorial, The Lancet suggested celebrity endorsement of junk food is contributing to high rates of obesity, particularly among children. (BBC, 2003). Director, Retail, ACNielsen Australia. “There was also a strong association with product categories the celebrity had previously been associated with, such as perfume for Kidman or designer watches for Woods – an indication of money well-spent for marketers.” (au.acnielsen, 2006). The racy Carl’s Jr. Commercial featuring Paris Hilton, The Parents Television Council protested the ad, calling it “soft porn.” (Advertisingabout, 2005). Moss was going to be used in H&M ads to promote Stella McCartney’s new fashion line. (Advertisingabout, 2005), but later dropped because the company found that Kate Moss has a drug problem. H&M Company argued that most of their clients are young people, and any association with drugs can damage the chain’s image (Issuesinimc, 2009). The above advertisements portray a bad example to the public, especially the younger generation. Celebrities can affect the brand image for the company. The importance given to the celebrity endorsement, celebrity comes in first when compared to the brand image. The behaviour of the celebrities reflects on the brand, celebrity endorsers may at times become liabilities to the brands they endorse. (Chillibreeze, 2009). There are a lot of consumers who identify the brand through celebrity endorsement. British political history is littered with celebrity endorsements that have backfired. (BBC, 2004). Once a linkage has been established between celebrity and brand, negative information about either entity may result in a damaged consumer evaluation of both entities (White et al, 2009). If the brand is strongly associated with the celebrity then the occurrence of the negative information about the celebrity will also activate in memory, to some degree, the endorsed brand (Till, 1998). Companies must consider about the solutions of using celebrity endorsement and must be careful about the overshadowing or overexposing which can effects the consumer’s reception (Belch & Belch, 2001). The other problem about celebrity endorsement is overexposure (Issuesinimc, 2009). This problem occurs when a celebrity endorses too many companies and products (Belch & Belch, 2001). Multi brand endorsements by the same celebrity would lead to overexposure. (Chillibreeze, 2009).

5.1 Methodology:

The secondary research method helps to identify the primary research methods. To fulfil the objectives keeping in mind the secondary research a few primary research methods were developed. The results from both the primary and secondary research were compared and then reached to a conclusion. Apart from the primary research methods even secondary research methods will be done in this paper. The secondary research which includes Journals, fashion magazines, articles and books.

5.2 Focus group:

Focus groups have a long history, with their use in the social sciences going back to the 1920s (Morgan, 1997). Focus groups are an effective strategy in consumer research if conducted properly (Threlfall.D.K, 1999). The debate between the qualitative and quantitative methods is always in some disagreement. The focus group is the best way to understand the human behaviour. Quantitative methods is used to collect a lager amount of numerical information, but fail to explain the reasons. Buston et al (1998) says the advantages of qualitative research, citing that interviews are able to gauge issues of particular importance to interviewees enabling significant amounts of information to be extracted.

Focus group of 4, 2 male and 2 female. The members are of different age groups and different ethnicity; this type of group was chose because each ethnicity will have different view towards fashion, advertising and body image will in return there will be a good debate, which will help in rich first hand information that can be collected from this focus group. The finding through the focus group is to find out does these members of the focus group have an impact because of celebrity and ideal body image. And to see what extent they would go to look like their ideals. Some magazines will also be used to show the focus group and will be asked to pick out what they think is an ideal body for themselves and will be made to explain why they think its and ideal body image for them. This in return will help to get information about the celebrity endorsement. More ever the focus group will help to investigate the behaviour of each participant in the focus group. The members of the group will be told the aim of conducting the focus group and few grounds rules will be given as the participants should not often the other participants.

Thus help in getting the aim required, also helps in gathering a large amount of rich information on the topic from different views and opinion. The focus group also provides a immediate feedback to the researcher. The participants will be more comfortable and relaxed environment which will help them to express themselves more freely

The discussion among the focus group will be taken down in notes, but still the names of the participants will not be given out during the discussion or in the note for ethical reasons. Notes will be a better way because the interviewer will ask the question or show a picture, and keep silent and listen to the out comes from each of the participants, as this will develop a debt among the participants, this will give a good result for the primary research. The questions for the focus group will be developed prior to the interview with the focus group. The session will not run more than one an half hour in time Thus the focus group helps to get a depth and get validity to the research and specific information can be gathered.


There was a time limitation which restricted the focus group and had had to break the conversation after 1.5 hours.

One on one interviews would have provide information more at a personal level. The participants may not have answered truthfully because of people around them. On one on one interviews more sensitive matters could have been asked about the body images, since it was a focus group certain questions were not asked to the participants.

5.3 Questionnaire:

Questionnaire is commonly used by people to gather information about the use of the users to the particular subject area. Through this methodology objectives can be achieved like the impact of celebrity endorsements and body image. If they generally compare them self’s mostly to the celebrity on the advertisements. This helps to have a greater perspective from many people which will very useful for the primary research. The questionnaires are going to be prepared by using secondary research which will help in making straight forward questions. Questionnaire helps to analysis the data collect the required information efficiently. This type of methodology gives privacy and anonymity to the person. Moreover there are no visual or verbal aspects that would influence the mind of the person filling in the questionnaire. How they are affected by the celebrity’s endorsements and about their view on their body image, if they would consider any cosmetic surgery The questionnaire has a multiple choice answers such as yes, no and maybe. A 100 questionnaire were sent to fashion forums, and to a few fashion designers in India and fashion students from National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) India. And few to a consumers. The questionnaire which were sent out was clearly indicated the purpose of the questionnaire and it will not be used for any other purpose other than the academic purpose by the researcher. The participants were also informed that the questionnaire is anonymous and it’s voluntary. These questionnaires were sent through a internet.

In a total of subjects

There were… females and… males from different age groups ranging from … to … the participants were also from various background and ethnicity.


There were only … out 100 questionnaires. This was one of the major limitations. If all the 100 questions were completed there would have been and equal view of each part of the fashion industry because the questionnaire were divided equally and sent to the participants.

Out the … there were only… males and .. females. This may have resulted in an uneven comparison among the sexes.

5.4 Data collection:

This type of methodology will help to achieve all the objectives where the data is collection from a secondary source and as well as the primary source. This will help to compare both the sources and to draw the conclusion for the aim that has to be achieved. Having struggled to gain acceptance as a reliable and useful method of data collection, qualitative research is now establishing itself within mainstream science research (Banister, 1994)

When the required data from the secondary is collected the relative question for the questionnaire will be formed using the information available.

Collection of celebrity endorsement, body image, and the effect of advertising on fashion.when a survey was conducted which Are the magazines were read the most among the mixed sex, the most read by these people are:

Women magazines:


Men’s magazine:

These magazines were then collected over the period of 3 months.

There were a few adverts which were taken from each magazine. In the bases of body image, celebrity endorsement, advertising. Appendix:

The participants were asked to relate themselves to a model in the selected advertisements. The full images of the advertisements were used to identify their ideal bogy image and the close shots of the model were to identify their ideal facial features. To get the result a scale was created to see the correct rating of each participant. Secord and Jourard (1953). Used likert scales and it decides that this would be the most appropriate method of assessment. The scales were rated as such 1 being the least attractive and 9 being the most attractive. Appendix:

This method was adopted so that participants can answer more accurately and at the own space. The participants were of 2 male and 2 female. The researcher and the participants meet for a meeting where the participants were showed the images and asked to mark the adverts.

. A view of alternatives of what celebrity wears which is cheaper for the consumers. The pictures and the celebrity endorsement and relevant picture is added to the paper. The magazines analysis has a border view of what the advertisers are trying to tell their reads and consumers.


The chosen magazines may not be read widely by the other consumers around the world. The survey was conducted to a small group of student who are not from the field of fashion.

There were ethnic and cultural difference in the type of magazines, some of the student may not even read such magazines, but this was not taken under consideration during the research.

The data proceed may be unreliable. But this was the only option because there were scales in existence.

Results :

Magazines analysis

Questionnaire analysis

Focus group analysis

After begin shown the adverts and made the participants chose which is the ideal body to them. The participants were asked to write down any comments they have which attracted them to the adverts:

The difference between the sexes were phenomenal .

Read and bough magazines

Impact of fashion adverts

I has been suggested that advertising effects consumers because they compare themselves with the idealised images portrayed in adverts (Richins, 1991)

Satisfaction with their own body


Due to a very few men completed the questionnaire the research the data collected is very minimal to compare the data’s

The potential limitations are the structure and the recording of the discussion.

5.5 Limitations:

Since we were translating a known theory, the transference of affect, to a specific research question, we developed our experiment with the goal of maximizing external validity. By demonstrating a cause and effect relationship between the independent and dependent variables we desired to be able to make statements about the process at large. However, a number of limitations restricted our ability to maximize external validity.

One limitation involved the selection of a celebrity for our study. We had originally wanted to choose a real celebrity whose image had always been viewed by the public as neutral or positive so that in the absence of the negative stories, participants would generally have a neutral or positive feeling toward the celebrity. We then planned to create a false negative event involving the celebrity to test how this sudden negative information changed participants’ perceptions of the celebrity and product image. However, due to implications with the IRB, we were limited to choosing a celebrity who had actually been involved in a negative event in the past. Under this stipulation, we chose Jamal Lewis as our celebrity since his involvement with an illegal drug dealing arrest had occurred several years ago, giving participants a chance to forget about this incident.

Additional limitations center on the sample population and the involvement level of the product utilized in the study. As noted earlier, only college students were surveyed, which may not accurately represent the entire population. In addition, since data was collected in a classroom setting, the researchers were required to shorten the experiment timeframe to less than fifteen minutes. Thus, product involvement level with athletic shoes was not measured. Respondents’ involvement level with athletic shoes certainly could have impacted the dependent variable. However, such an effect would be expected to influence the dependent variable in a similar fashion across all three conditions.

The primary limitations of the present research relate to generalizability, both regarding the participant population and the stimulus materials. In particular, future research should attempt to explain the apparent cultural differences between the United States and Norway. The preceding discussion of cultural issues suggests skepticism toward advertising as a possible mediating variable for these cultural differences, but this should be investigated empirically. Perhaps the most serious potential problem with the present research involves the use of research participants who were primarily students. There is substantial evidence that student samples can limit external validity and thereby limit generalizability of results (Lynch, 1982; McGrath and Brinberg, 1983), although validity issues are more problematic when examining mean differences in variables (e.g. attitudes toward rap music are likely to be much different among 19-year-old students than among the general adult population) than when examining relationships between variables (Burnett and Dunne, 1986; Ferber, 1977; Sears, 1986). With this in mind, the mean differences in correspondent inferences (anti-correspondence bias) in the present research should be regarded with particular caution. Although no research has yet examined correspondent inferences about endorsements in non-student samples, this concern is somewhat moderated by the fact that research examining correspondent inferences across the adult lifespan in non-advertising contexts (Miller, 1984) has obtained similar results to those typically observed in research using student samples (Gilbert and Malone, 1995). Another relevant consideration is that Norwegian university students are older than those in many other countries (the mean age of participants in the present studies was over 24 years) and are often re-entering the education system after having spent some time as “normal” consumers. Nevertheless, it would certainly be desirable to replicate the present findings using a more representative adult sample.

Another potential generalizability issue stems from the stimuli used in the present experiments. First, the models predicting attitudes toward the product differed somewhat between the two experiments. In particular, it appeared that correspondent inferences and “rational information processing” played a stronger role in predicting attitudes toward the product in Experiment 1 than in Experiment 2. This is perhaps not surprising, given the relative expense of the two products (i.e. consumers might think more carefully about more expensive purchases), but it does call attention to the fact that there is unlikely to be a single model that predicts consumer attitudes toward endorsed products in all situations. However, despite the fact that the present experiments used different product categories and different endorsers, the predictor variables in the two models were quite similar overall. This suggests that, although models predicting endorsement effectiveness might vary with advertising context, there is also likely to be substantial commonality across contexts, and the importance of correspondent inferences about the endorser might well be one of these commonalities.

A second generalizability issue relates to a variable that showed relatively little predictive power in the present experiments – the endorser’s perceived knowledge about the product. Although this appears to contradict previous research on source credibility models in which perceived expertise plays a prominent role in endorser effectiveness (e.g. Ohanian, 1991), we are inclined to believe that this non-result is a consequence of the advertisements used in the present research. Neither of the present experiments used an “expert endorsement” where part of the endorser’s role is to help the consumer understand the product class and why the endorsed product is superior to competitor products. It is quite possible that the effectiveness of expert endorsements depends on a substantially different set of variables than celebrity (non-expert) endorsements, and as such the modeling of expert endorsement effectiveness is an issue that should be addressed in future research.


Evaluation questionnaire

The evaluation questionnaire included measures of correspondent inferences, attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the product, and attitude toward the celebrity endorser. Correspondent inferences were measured with three items asking participants to indicate their level of belief that Cindy Crawford:

  • likes the Omega brand;
  • frequently uses the Omega brand; and
  • views the Omega brand as a good product.

Each of these items was answered on a seven-point scale ranging from 1=”Not at all likely” to 7=”Extremely likely”. The correspondent inference items showed satisfactory internal reliability (α=0.83).

All attitude items used semantic differential scales with a value of one associated with the more negative word and a value of seven associated with the more positive word. Attitude toward the advertisement was measured using the items pleasant/unpleasant, likeable/not likeable, interesting/uninteresting, and good/bad; attitude toward the product was measured using the items desirable/not desirable, pleasant/unpleasant, likeable/not likeable, and good/bad; attitude toward the endorser was measured using the items interesting/uninteresting, pleasant/unpleasant, likeable/not likeable, and good/bad. Each of the three attitude measures showed satisfactory internal reliability (attitude toward advertisement: α=0.85; attitude toward product: α=0.82; attitude toward endorser: α=0.87).

Participants were also asked to rate how much they admired Cindy Crawford as well as Cindy Crawford’s physical attractiveness, sense of style (attractiveness relevant to the product domain), similarity to the participant, and knowledge of the product domain. All of these ratings were made on seven-point scales where 1 indicated low values (e.g. “not at all attractive”) and 7 indicated high values (e.g. “very attractive”).

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The Impact of Advertising on Fashion. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved June 5, 2023 , from

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