Fashion advertising is a bit different than other types of advertising because the focus is getting people to purchase items that they are going to wear on their body. This means that advertisers have to make the advertisements more enticing to the target audience than, for example, Coke would. Basically, the things that people wear are much more associated with a specific image than the items that they eat or the beverages that they consume. This is why it is important that fashion advertising relay the message intended to the audience intended.
There are generally two things that an advertiser wants to relate to their target audience. The first thing is about affluence. For example, all the wealthy people wear this type of clothing. An advertisement trying to relay this message might include a beautiful man or woman with clearly expensive jewelry at a high end restaurant or at a party in a well decorated loft. This concept can be achieved with print, digital or action media; typically all three media types are used, although you will often find that with high fashion advertisers focus most on print media (as if to imply that those with taste don’t spend a lot of time watching TV).
The other form of fashion advertising is less focused than high fashion. This type of advertising says if you wear certain types of clothing then you will be cool, sexy, popular, etc. This type of marketing is directed more to the masses than high fashion advertising is and you will see stores like Target, JC Penny, Dillard’s and so on focus on this type of advertising. The overall goal here is to appeal to the feelings of self-worth that a person has and turn that into money for the fashion industry.
In many cases, advertising is left to the brand or logo displayed on the fashion items. This, of course, only works for items that are well recognized. In the past this would have been designer clothing such as Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Prada and so on. Today, however, this includes brands such as Old Navy, Guess, GAP and more. In either case, a well placed celebrity wearing a brand name product can cause a rise in sales that no amount of media advertising can.
The bottom line is that fashion advertising works towards appealing to the emotions of the people who would wear specific types of clothing. Whether the elicited feeling is one of prominence or social acceptance, this appeal can certainly sell cloths.