ADVERTISING TRENDS: Body Talk by Dr Nicola Davies

Research has shown that as much as 70% of communication comes from body language. This leaves a wealth of opportunity for fashion designers to convey their desired message for the season through advertising campaigns. Psychology consultant, Dr Nicola Davies explains what the campaigns are saying

Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs has taken a child-like approach to advertising his women’s S/S12 collection. This is indicated by the heart shaped picture on the wall, the purity of the clothing colours, and the innocent look on the model’s face. Jacobs is using an image of innocence and purity to attract consumers.

Juergen Teller, featuring Xiao Wen Ju, styled by Daniela Paudice

As with the women’s S/S12 advertising campaign, Marc Jacobs has again taken a fun, child-like approach to advertising his men’s collection. The pram, which is suggestive of a baby, again emphasises the themes of innocence and purity. The fact that this is a man posing with a pram is symbolic of a “can do” attitude. Jacobs wants to portray the message that men who wear his designs are in control. The fact that the photographer’s shadow is included in the shot suggests that it is being made obvious that this is a shoot and that men who wear these clothes will be the centre of attention.

Juergen Teller featuring Bobby Gillespie


Emporio Armani
The use of two models, who are standing relatively close, portrays a sense of intimacy in the Emporio Armani women’s campaign. With one model leaning towards the other, the advert has a personal element about it. The calm composure of the models further indicates comfort with intimacy. It is likely that Armani wants to be perceived as removing boundaries and bringing people closer together.

Alasdair McLellan featuring Tao Okamoto and Xiao Wang

In the men’s campaign, Emporio Armani wants to portray a laid-back image. The opening of the shirt and the baring of flesh would suggest to the consumer that Armani’s designs are comfortable and light. The message is that when wearing Armani, men will not feel constricted by the garments.

Alasdair McLellan featuring Florian van Bael


In the Balanciaga campaign, model Kirsten Liljegren looks relaxed and cool – leant againt the wall, legs bent, hair covering her eyes. Inspired by personal photos in Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids, taken at the legendary Hotel Chelsea.

Steven Klein featuring Kirstin Liljegren, styled by Marie-Amélie Sauvé.


The pose in the Balmain campaign is also indicative of a relaxed attitude, but powerfully portrays a very cool image, hence the hand on the hip and the other as a rest for Anja Rubik’s head. Looking directly at the camera, Balmain wants to convey the sense of confidence that can come from wearing the collection. The combing back of the model’s hair also shows sleekness in design.

Inez & Vinoodh featuring Anja Rubik.

Jil Sander
The Jil Sander women’s campaign makes reference to the films of Alfred Hitchcock; Grace Kelly, one of Hitchcock’s leading ladies was one of the inspirations of the collection. The lack of colour in the shot suggests that this clothing range speaks for itself. Daria Strokous and her surroundings are insignificant in comparison to the clothes. At the same time, the model’s upward gaze and open posture suggests a sense of urgency; the model is trying to get somewhere fast and yet her clothes portray a sense of composure in the rush. These designs are for busy women who still want to take pride in their appearance.

Willy Vanderperre featuring Daria Strokous, styled by Olivier Rizzo


In the Prada women’s campaign, the sideways slanting of the head and the pouting lips demonstrated by both models indicates playfulness and flirting. There is also a clear message of femininity being portrayed. These designs are made for strong, powerful women who are proud of their femininity and want to flaunt it in an empowering way.

Steven Klein, featuring Natasha Poly and Elise Crombez.

Clenched fists usually convey aggression, but when combined with the loose body language – shoulders down, head forward, lips pouting – the Prada men’s campaign featuring Michael Pitt can be seen as light-hearted and fun. A boyish nature is portrayed, indicating these clothes are for the young at heart.

David Sims featuring Michael Pitt.

From Another Magazine
Dr Nicola Davies is a psychology consultant and freelance writer who regularly writes on topics that provide insight into human behaviour.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012 · Categories: Consumer Intelligence, Art and Photography, Fashion, Marketing and Advertising, Lifestyle
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