Apparel Ads Speak Volumes with Few Elements

We don’t work on apparel ads frequently as many other types like those for restaurants and the automotive category because they are often national campaigns developed and executed by advertising agencies. But every once in  a while, a local boutique will want to have a new ad designed and we are there to answer the call from our multimedia publishing clients!

An important thing to keep in mind about apparel ads is that they are all about image and appeal to specific segments of the audience, depending on the clientele. The photography has to be strong and the colors and fonts must reinforce the appropriate theme.

The ad below is directed toward a more affluent client because it touts a relationship between client and clothier, master tailoring and a personal shopper. You don’t go to this place to find a cheap t-shirt–you need an ample budget. That’s why the images are of what appear to be established businessmen in suits. The font is a classic serif and the gray and black colors couldn’t be more traditional. And if you had any doubt that this is a men’s store from its name and website address, the copy mentions it three more times in the heading, sub-head and body copy!

Print Ad: Fashion for Men

In contrast to Festari for Men, the two stores below focus on the latest trends and appeal to a younger crowd. The colors are brighter and there is more of a sense of motion in the photos, especially in the woman’s hair. These are not stodgy business people, they are thinking about fun. However, they are willing to spend money on a designer clothing to be on trend and the ad provides advice on having an up-to-the-moment wardrobe. The fonts are still pretty traditional (the more expensive, the more classic the fonts in my experience) but they not as serious as in the one for Festari.

Print Ad: Clothier

In this ad targeted to women, we see more stress on what is current. This store offers a variety of apparel but specializes in evening wear. The fonts suggest an upscale and elegant image. You go to Tootsies if you have a special occasion and want to invest in a beautiful outfit. The colors of black and white conveys that this is the place to shop for a black-tie event.

Print Ad: Shopping Experience

Here the target is women who want to be fashionable and get advice on the latest trends in casual dressing. The store is not for teenagers but the font is still fun and bold. The background is bright and eye-catching. The photos of the models bring in a lot more color. The customers of the Little Change Room are price-sensitive and looking for value, so the boutique lures them in with a coupon, which that minimizes the risk of trying new items like French dressing jeans.

Print Ad: Spring Clothing

In contrast, Calentano specializes in western wear and the ad reinforces that with the rustic colors. Photos of people wearing the clothes aren’t really necessary because “western” conveys all the information needed. The audience knows they will find jeans, shirts, boots, hats, etc., and only needs the facts on when and where.

Print Ad: Western Wear

Apparel ads have to communicate quite a bit with their designs because viewers are making decisions in a couple of seconds on whether these stores are right for them. Through the use of photos of models and product shots, supported by colors and fonts, the audience can quickly figure out the price range of clothes, the target age range and the lifestyle aspirations of customers.

About Kelly Glass
Kelly has been vice president of Marketing at Affinity Express for nine years now. She drives company strategy and all marketing activities.

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