Description of the Title
This research shall seek to assess the impact that celebrities have when it comes to fashion choices by consumers. This assessment shall include the psychological impact the celebrities have had on the current fashion trends. The research shall also delve into how this impact is normally tapped by fashion designers in developing new trends and styles. This assessment shall also extend to examining the degree in which such a fashion trend penetrates the market.
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Luxury brand normally comes at a higher price as compared to other products. Sometimes we find a certain attire being sold at a very exorbitant price just because it is of a certain brand. In spite of the high price, people still buy these products. Some even save to buy it while those who cannot afford can only wish that they could afford it. The supernormal price is normally associated with the brand that the attire bears. In other words, people are really buying the brand and not the product. This is despite the fact that luxury brands add no specific value apart from the perceptions of human beings. It offers psychological satisfaction.
Luxurious brands are normally associated with the high-life which most people would want to experience. Celebrities too are normally considered to be at a higher social class. This is because their fans idolise them and consider them to be role models. This explains the important treatment they get whenever they visit some places.
Luxurious brands are also attached to a higher social status. While wearing, any watch will give you the time whenever you read it, wearing a brand such as Rolex shall seem to have elevated you in the social stratus. One feels to be socially superior when in designer’s wear than in any normal wear. This has been amplified by musicians who sing songs praising the brands that they wear. Actors in different movies also appear in luxury brands.
The main purpose of this research paper shall be to find out how the developmental theory applies in the fashion industry. It also seeks to explain the psychological foundations of how celebrities contribute towards the fans’ behaviour. It is important to understand fan behaviours as it is through them that fashion designers are able to attract people into the new fashion designs they have developed. Psychological understanding of a consumer is the first step towards penetrating the market.
The theories shall include both para-social and social theories. The research shall also be done through assessing different theories such as the Attachment Theory and the Life Stage theories which seek to explain the desire to be like certain people.
The main issue that usually matters when it comes to discussing the degree to which Para-social as well as other social theories such as social attachments to celebrities have influenced a consumer is the mindset that is adopted by the consumer. The relationship between a celebrity and a fan is normally said to Para-social. This means that the celebrity appears to be communicating directly to the fan. For instance, when he praises a certain brand, it appears as if what he is communicating is that the particular brand is the best. The a fan gets this message and starts looking for that particular brand. The main question in the context of this research is how the fashion designer capitalises on this?
Context of the Research
The youths of today are really trying hard to ape their idols. These can be musicians, actors, great sportsmen and many more. While trying to ape the celebrities, the youth have ended up trying to dress like their popular celebrities. Most clothes designers have realised and tried to capitalise on this. They work hard to attach certain celebrities to their brands in order to attract the fans of the celebrity. For this reason, they have developed fashion in a lot of ways.
There is the emergence of what is referred to as the celebrity culture where people try and copy the behaviour of the celebrities they like. This may range from the manner of speech, the manner of walking and of course the dressing manner. Some celebrities too have capitalised on this and ended up designing their own clothes. The celebrity culture is normally sold to the public through the social media as well as other digital forms such as videos.
For instance, in most music videos of celebrities, there is always a connection between celebrity life and ostentatious goods. An illustration is made by the watches and the clothes they wear. Apart from their attire, their lyrics also offer lots of praise to luxurious life and brands.
The media also plays a very big role in the spreading of these styles and fashions. Most people being influenced by the celebrity when it comes to fashion choice are young people. The media is the mainstream source of the gossip on these celebrities. Young people tend to idolise the celebrity they love and are quite adamant about ensuring that they are up to date with any information on the celebrity’s life. Designers usually use this as a bait to lure these youngsters into buying their new fashions. For instance, a fashion designer comes up with a new design and makes sure that he attaches a celebrity to that brand as a marketing strategy.
The designer then uses a celebrity figure to pose in their designs and then start circulating those pictures in the media. Media in this case includes both electronic as well as social media. The brands that these celebrities wear form luxurious brands. This is because most of them are just deemed to be goods of ostentation and not that they add any other special value in terms of function as compared to normal kinds of goods. There are many times that pictures of a certain celebrity have been in circulation showing him or her dressed in a certain fashion. This has the effect of attracting the celebrity’s loyal fans to buy the fashion and in its effect.
Aims/ Objectives of the Project
- The main objective of the research shall be to determine how celebrity endorsements can always be used to develop a new fashion and make it relevant in the market.
- The other objective of this research is to understand the psychology behind people copying celebrities. The aim extends to understanding how the fashion designers have been able to capture this to their advantage as well as how this also influences the new designs that they come up with.
- The research shall also seek to determine any connection that exists between celebrities and luxury brands. This shall extend into seeking to determine why most celebrities are always associated with certain luxurious brands.
- The research shall seek to compare the demographics of those people who are influenced and how they are to be influenced in making their fashion choices. In seeking to uncover the impact of these celebrities the research shall bear in mind the age factors as well as cultural and other background differences.
The proposed research shall seek to address the following questions:
- Whether the celebrities have any impact in shaping the trends that are fashion concerned. In this question, we shall be concerned with examining how some celebrity’s desire to create their unique fashions has contributed to the development of fashion.
- The proposed research shall aim to address how young people are influenced by celebrities in making their fashion choices?
- The research shall delve into how fashionists and design are able to utilise the knowledge of the influence of the celebrities into developing new fashions that will be appealing to the target customers.
The research methodology shall include assessing sales from different companies. Where possible, there shall be a comparison between the sales made by non-celebrity fashion houses and compare them with the celebrity own companies. This is important to determine how many people buy these brands.
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The research methodology shall also include questionnaires which will be distributed to different people of different age groups. This shall aim at finding out the demography of those who are influenced more by the celebrities in their choice of fashion and to what extent is this possible. The questionnaires shall seek to know who would buy a designer fashion at three times the price a normal clothe of the same kind. In high school, the questionnaire shall seek to ask the participants the reasons why they would spend thrice the amount of an alternative to buy a designer fashion.
Also as part of the methodology, there shall be reliance on both primary and secondary materials in trying to understand the psychology behind the fashion designers using celebrities. Here, the researcher shall indulge several psychological theories as advanced to explain why people would buy fashionable attire at a higher price. Furthermore, the psychological theories would give a deeper understanding of what actually entails a luxury brand.
The methodology shall also include a poll which will be conducted in the social media regarding different brands. The poll would ask the participants to choose a brand they would love to have and also expect them to give reasons for their choice. In this poll, there shall be several ostentatious brands which the participants shall be expected to choose from.
The methodology shall also include comparing how different fashions and brands are promoted through with a particular focus on celebrity endorsement. By comparing how at least four different brands are promoted, it will be enough to deduce how advertising using celebrities contributes towards the development of a particular brand.
Methods of data collection
The methods of data collection shall involve interviews and surveys. Interviews shall be conducted both physical and electronic questionnaires which shall be available online.
Sampling and Distribution
The sampling shall be done through questionnaires that shall seek to interview several people drawn from different backgrounds. The research shall also sample several fashion designers as well as fashion houses that are popular and those which are not popular. The aim of this shall be to create a distinctive line between luxury brands and how they operate from the non-luxury brands and how they operate.
The report distribution shall be useful for different groups of people. First and foremost, it shall be useful for market brand managers in determining the marketing strategies of their brands. This shall stem from the understanding of what actually attracts the consumer to these luxury brands.
The research is expected to show that indeed celebrities have an impact on the development of fashion as well as an influence for the same. The research is also expected to show that fashion can be developed through intense advertising and specifically through celebrity endorsements. The research is also expected to establish that there are some celebrities whose desires to stand out as being unique end up developing new fashion and trends. These trends are later on passed to the general public through the loyal fans who desire to copy anything and everything that is associated with the celebrity of their choice.
Many researchers have been conducted researches in an attempt to try and uncover the reason why celebrity endorsement is used mostly in fashion and design. Luxury brands are common where there are celebrities. It is not a coincidence that these two are always found together. Luxury brands are normally seen as superior goods as compared to other normal brands (Vickers and Renand 2003, p 460). They normally attract a price that is more than the normally price. While they attract big prices, they are normally advertised as fitting everyone’s pockets. They also use celebrities and try hard to show that everyone can afford them. They are also associated with the highest level of comfort.
Most celebrities have been used in promoting fashion and design. Musicians always want to stay unique. This ranges from how they dress to the manner of performing their work. As a result, they normally acquire personal designers who create for them their own fashions. These normally become to develop as a fashion trend as fans adopt the fashion. According to Cornell (2002, p. 47), the word luxury is said to mean beauty and in this context, it is the prettiness of art applied as a useful item.
Kapferer (1997, p 253) defines luxury as the appendage that is associated with the ruling class. The ruling class in this case expresses those who are held to be very high in the social classes. Therefore any luxurious thing grabs the association of the most high in the society. Contrary to the necessities luxury goods are utilitarian objects which seek to achieve the purpose of relieving any discomfort. They are also discussed to be objects that bring pleasure and raise the social class of a person (McDonald 1994, p 22).
Psychological aspects of Luxury Brand
One of the theories that aim at explaining the desire to ape celebrities is the Social Learning Theory. This theory propounds that we are so attracted because in our lives we actually aspire to be like the celebrities (Mandrik 1996, p. 304). We hold their lives dearly and sometimes tend to think that they live in pure comfort. As a result, we end up working hard to reach their standards and copying their fashion styles in one of the ways in which we are influenced.
The young people are much more obsessed with famous people and the desire to be famous. Since being famous is not easy, the idea of copying famous people normally offers a temporary gratification to those who copy their favourite celebrities. Another notion is that by copying these celebrities these fans are actually keeping their loyalty to their favourite celebrities (Mehta 1999, p. 84). The level of loyalty normally differs from one fan to another.
There are some fans that would even spend a lot of money to buy an item they would not otherwise buy just because that particular item has their favourite celebrity’s signature on it. The question that arises is whether such a fan buys the product or the signature?
Parasocial theories also try to explain the reason why people normally try to copy the celebrities. Promoters of different fashions also know this and capitalise on it to boost their sales. The use of current technology in advertising is also important in the promotion of new fashion brands in the market.
The coverage of celebrities in the local and international media has led to the easy spread of the news about the same. These media houses have become houses of celebrity gossip which avail information about the lives of these celebrities. The coverage is so wide that a fan can be able to feel like there is a direct communication between him and his favourite celebrity. The intimate gossip and information that recur in the media makes fans feel like the celebrities are within their midst. Thus, any communication from the celebrity via social media seems to be directly to the fan. Such communication has been used in other important messages.
For instance, in wrestling, the celebrities normally address children against trying or copying whatever they see on the television. This is because there is belief that the youngsters watching wrestling are likely to heed the message from their favourite celebrity as opposed to an adult in the house. The same way, those wrestlers have adopted a habit of having their own custom made t-shirts and other gears. These are later on sold to the public. Some will buy these because it feels like the actual wrestler asked him to buy one.
The purchasing intention is a major reason that designers rely on to sell their fashions. The purchase intention differs with different age groups for different reasons (Phau & Gerald, 2000 p. 125). Mostly, young people’s purchase intention is to look cool. In fact, they sometimes fail to buy a dressing depending on the weather but rather stick to their brand loyalty. Purchase intention for a young couple is normally stemmed upon economising funds as they are still growing financially. Because of these reasons, fashion designers normally use celebrities to lure the younger generation as their purchase intention is to look hip and trendier rather than being driven by economic capacity.
Resource and Requirements
Some of the Resources that shall be used in this research shall include reviewing several articles. Some of these articles have been provided for here below:
- Adams-Price, C. & Greene, A. L. (1990). Adolescents’ secondary attachments to celebrity figures. Sex Roles, 3 (7–8), 335–347.
- Giles, D. C., & Maltby, J. (2004). The role of media figures in adolescent development: Relations between autonomy, attachment, and interest in celebrities. Personality and Individual Differences, 36 (4), 813–822.
- Maltby, J., Day, L., McCutcheon, L. E., Houran, J., & Ashe, D. D. (2006). Extreme celebrity worship, fantasy proneness and dissociation: Developing the measurement and understanding of celebrity worship within a clinical personality context. Personality and Individual Differences, 40 (2), 273–283.
- Ainsworth, M. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
These articles are important as they offer a psychological foundation on the marketing strategies of the fashion marketing which is a very important aspect in the development of any product. In fact, the need for market expansion normally calls for increased creativity in the part of the fashion and development.
Apart from reviewing these articles, the research shall also be in need of efficient manpower. This is especially important during conducting the questionnaires. Also important is technological know-how which shall be of great help during conduction of online polls as well as social media questioning regarding different brands. The researcher shall need any permission from any authorities when conducting the research. For instance, if the questionnaires are to be distributed in different schools the researcher shall ensure that the applicable permissions have been granted before he commences. This is important in order to avoid unnecessary delays.
Chapter one shall mainly be introductory and would explain the main concepts of luxury brands and their promotion. It shall also delve into the psychological influence of these celebrities and the role they play in the development of different fashions and styles.
Chapter Two will be discussing the celebrity culture; its emergence and the influence it has on the fashion industry. In this chapter, we shall consider two points of views that contribute to celebrity involvement in the development of the fashion industry (especially the luxury brand).
Chapter Three shall seek to establish the connection that exists between celebrities to luxurious goods. It shall endeavour to uncover why celebrity endorsement is normally used in new fashion designs. It shall also assess the success of the same. Chapter Four will assess the other factors that are responsible for propelling the development and the spread of the fashion standards that have been capitalised upon by a fashion designer. This is in the hope to uncover the connection between celebrity adornment and the development of fashion.
Limitations and Problems during the Research
The first limitation of the research shall involve the standardisation of celebrity lives. This is impossible as the degree of popularity varies from one person to another. This is because liking a certain celebrity depends on the personal choice and is independent as there are no standard parameters that determine the levels of celebrity hood. To solve this, the researcher shall rely on the factors such international awards that a celebrity has received in his/her field of profession to determine their level of popularity. This is steamed on the fact that these awards reflect their popularity since most of them depend on public voting.
Another challenge that shall face the research is the inability to cover the whole world. It is only practical that the research shall be conducted within a limited scope in terms of geographical area and expansion. This has the effect of producing results that shall only be limited in scope to a certain area. In order to overcome this hurdle the research shall use sampling methods in order to be able to project the sample results to the entire world.
Another limitation is the fact that the research cannot cover all brands. This limitation shall be overcome by doing sampling of the existing brands and try to project them towards the general population. Sampling shall be done both physically and online. This shall then be projected to the whole world to determine how it would actually be.
Another limitation can be derived from the fact that while the researcher shall seek to interview brand managers of different company and there is no guarantee that these managers shall be truthful. In a market full of competition, each brand normally claims to be the best and therefore very few will be open enough to accept that their brand is weak. The problem is also expected in instances where we shall expect to see the books of accounts in order to determine the amount being spent in fashion promotion.
Another limitation shall arise from the accuracy of the results coming from the online. This is because sometimes the person who filled it does not give correct details. Sometimes a person may fill an online questionnaire form more than two times. Another thing is maybe the person filling the questionnaires does not even understand what he is doing. All these are factors that shall be limiting the findings of the research. They pose a challenge as there is no sure way of solving them. However, in order to come up with realistic solutions, there shall be an allowance of error margin in the analysis of the findings.
The TimeLine Plan
The whole research shall be scheduled to take eight months. These eight months shall be divided into four quarters with each quarter having two months. The earlier months shall be dedicated towards the collection of information and resources for the analysis of the research itself.
These first two months shall be used mainly to gather the required information that is to be used in the research process. During this time the researcher shall prepare the questionnaire that shall be used during the research. Apart from that the researcher shall also check whether he has enough manpower for conducting the research.
The Second Two months are actually collecting data. This shall be done in the field, over the internet (through social media and other electronic sources), visits to the library to review the relevant material that is connected to the proposed research. In carrying out this, there shall be a thorough investigation of several companies’ statements and books of accounts. This shall aim to determine the amount of money that has been spent in advertising and engaging the celebrities in the instances where the form of advertising was characterised by celebrity endorsement. The sales shall also help to determine whether indeed most people are attracted to these brands.
The third two months shall be dedicated to testing the finding of the hypotheses that actually form the core of this research. The theories shall be tested against the practical findings that were gotten from the polls conducted as well as the research questionnaires that had been circulated earlier on.
These theories shall be examined in the practical context and the researcher shall try to come up with conclusive deductions on whether he is in support of the theories. In case of any disparity, the researcher shall try to find out the major cause of the disparity. This shall seek to determine whether it was because the theory does not hold water or maybe if there was any hindrance during the research that led to the disparity.
The final two months shall be committed to writing the final report and explaining the concept of luxury brand as found by the whole research. In making these conclusions and deductions, the researcher shall be aware of the influencing factors that could have played a role in creating biasness during the research process. The report shall be prepared from the answers that are from the questionnaires.
Cornell, A 2002, ‘Cult of luxury: The new opiate of the masses. Australian Financial Review’, 247.
Kapferer, JN 1998, ‘ Why are we seduced by luxury brands?’, Journal of Brand Management, vol. 6 no. 1, pp. 44–49.
Mandrik, CA 1996, ‘Consumer heuristics: the tradeoff between processing effort and brand value choice’, Advances in Consumer Research, vol. 23, pp. 301–307.
McDonald, WJ 1994,’Developing International Direct Marketing Strategies with a Consumer Decision- Making Content Analysis’, Journal of Direct Marketing, vol. 8 no. 4, pp. 18-27.
Mehta, A 1999, ‘Using self-concept to assess advertising effectiveness’, Journal of Advertising Research 39 (1): 81–89.
Phau, I & Gerald, P 2000, ‘Consuming luxury brands: The relevance of the rarity principle’, Journal of Brand Management, vol. 8 no. 2, pp. 122–138.