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The influence of real women in advertising on mass market fashion brand perception
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL). School of Business, Economics, and Law, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0419-8654
2011 (English)In: Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, ISSN 1361-2026, E-ISSN 1758-7433, Vol. 15, no 4, 486-502 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the weight of ideal users affects the perception of mass market fashion brands. Design/methodology/approach: An experiment was carried out in which 640 university students replied to a web survey, rating the brand personality of jeans and shirts according to Aaker's Big Five construct. The garments were worn by thin, overweight, and obese models. Findings: The findings show that consumers' impressions of mass market fashion brands are significantly affected by the weight of ideal users. Slender models lead to the most positive brand perception followed by obese models. Overweight user imagery is for pure fashion brand building the least attractive kind. Research limitations/implications: A limitation of this study is the use of convenient student samples. Consequently, the generalization of the results beyond this convenience sample may be limited. It is further possible, even probable, that high fashion would suffer more from the negative imagery of overweight and obese users than mass market fashion. It would therefore be interesting to replicate this experiment using clothes of higher fashion grade and price. Practical implications: The demonstrated effects of user imagery support the industry practice of slim ideal female imagery. Social implications: The results inform the debate over skinny models vs real women in advertising. Originality/value: Previous research regarding the effectiveness of real women in advertising has been inconclusive. This paper demonstrates not only that model weight affects consumers' brand perception, but also how. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2011. Vol. 15, no 4, 486-502 p.
Keyword [en]
Brand personality, Clothing, Fashion, Individual psychology, User imagery, Women
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-22301DOI: 10.1108/13612021111169960Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-80053065624OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-22301DiVA: diva2:622865
Available from: 2013-05-23 Created: 2013-05-23 Last updated: 2016-06-29Bibliographically approved

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