Saturday, October 6, 2007

All Dressed Up, Nowhere to Go

While visiting a friend two days ago, I saw a Seventeen Magazine in her room and asked to borrow it.

Why look in a girl's magazine? For one, I like ads. Secondly, research. The KSU Ad Club has volunteered to work with a student who is a Senior in Apparel and Textile Design; she will be opening a lingerie boutique in Rochester, New York sometime next year and has asked for some assistance developing a marketing strategy. We're privileged to work with her and have this opportunity.

Browsing through page after page of the publication and evaluating the effectiveness of the ads, I saw part of JCPenney's "Every Day Matters" campaign. The spread shows some teen girls at a dance posing for the camera in dresses that JCPenney is selling. I'm a guy, but I know when someone's hairstyle looks terrible. Theirs does, especially the girls on the far left and right. This is an important detail that JCPenney or its agency has missed. The lighting is also very poor. The copy is okay.

Going through some more pages, landing on a Dillard's ad, I saw a face that looked familiar. I had to do a double-take and go back to the JCPenney ad. She has the same facial structure. Yep, the caucasian brunette is the same model for JCPenney and Dillard's. (You may compare and contrast below.) Is this a bad thing for either company, or is it irrelevant?



The Dillard's ad has much better dramatic lighting for the occasion. The modeling and hairstyles are also better.

Are both concepts too similar? The ads are only 29 pages away from each other, in a magazine that has 173 pages. JCPenney is feeling free and having fun. Dillard's is intimate and elegant. Both spreads are scenarios headed to the same place.

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