UK retailer Debenhams is on a mission to prove that we don't need to be sold a Photoshop fantasy every time we shop for clothing. Save the perfect smiles and slim figures for their competitors; Debenhams is opting to use average every day people to appeal to the masses. Is this a breath of fresh air, or a clever marketing ploy?
In their latest summer campaign, referred to as the "diversity campaign", Debenhams recognizes their customer base is not the shape and size generally portrayed in advertising. They want to celebrate diversity and real beauty by using average models in their advertising.
Selling clothing has generally been as much about selling the fabric as the lifestyle that it represents. Fashion designers are always eager to portray their clothing in the absolute best light, even if that is quite a stretch from reality. Debenhams, as a mass retailer, could do well to appeal to the average masses. Brands focused on exclusivity and high fashion will no doubt stick to their fantasy advertising. After all, we all need an escape from reality once in a while, but Debenhams hits home with their reality check and that could do wonders for their reputation and sales.
Speaking with some plus sized friends they all had the common opinion that one of their frustrations with fantasy advertising is that they just don't know what would actually look good on their body types. In a world flooded with slim bodies on massive billboards, it can be rather hard to find examples of a plus sized well styled body. My friends indicated quite a relief at the fact that a major retailer is finally showing what they themselves might potentially look like in an article of clothing.
So what do you think? Does the average shopper prefer to be shown a fantasy or would they prefer reality when it comes to buying clothing?
[Via Debenhams Blog]