Advertisement is a necessity for companies to connect more customers and persuade audience to purchase. Brands have always relied on the power of woman’s physical appearance to lead advertising campaigns. In order to connect consumers and reflect a good image of the product and brand, the embodiment of products in idealized models or celebrity endorsement are widespread phenomena in marketing. But what about promoting using the archetype of ordinary woman?
A recently published study has investigated the use of ordinary woman in advertisement and how successful it could be for different products. The study which is conducted by researchers from “Faculty of Economics and Management, Sfax, Tunisia” and published in a Journal of Marketing Research and Case Studies asked and tried to answer the question of how could the ordinary woman be a reference to designers for all types of products?
In quest of answers, researchers of the study investigated the celebrity endorsement and how effectively it is on the product’s success. A lot of brands choose celebrities to endorse their products based on the idea that “what is beautiful is good”. In their marketing strategy, brands then target “‘emotional feeling’ rather than the relational one” making the celebrity’s beauty an affecting element on the product’s image. The celebrity’ beauty is intended to make the product “more attractive and appealing, motivating consumers to pay attention to advertising messages.”
Brands turn to this strategy “to fight against the commoditization in saturated markets and thwart competition.” But, according to researchers “it is not the right device to accelerate the process of persuasion.”
Researchers mentioned that different risks are raised following this kind of advertising for instance the huge amount of money spent in favor of celebrities that would affect the financial abilities of the brand. Also, “highly attractive models (HAM) monopolize the attention of exposed persons (Till et al, 1998), which contributes to the neglect of the brands in question.” Another risk of this strategy “is related to celebrities’ life. In fact, any negative information about celebrity produces negative effects on brand’s attitude, and reduces the credibility of spokesperson.”
To avert all these risks, managers can turn to ordinary women as archetypes in their advertising campaigns. The study cited that “the model of “ordinary woman” could be the solution for recipients seeking identification. It can also be a good way for managers to stand out from competitors who don’t stop using celebrities”. However, the archetype of ordinary woman is not likely to fit all products.
Researchers conducted and analyzed data collected from 30 individuals in aim of discussing “the question of correspondence between the “ordinary” woman and the various types of products.” The study stated that results “show that the physical characteristics of the model and values are very important to advertise products.”
For their analysis, researchers based their study on different products and how the archetype of ordinary woman can fit to a product more than another. Researchers studied 5 products including Luxury product (watch with diamonds), Durable product (car), Mass consumption product (pasta), Electronic product, and service (hotel). Results showed “that the archetype of OW fit more food like pasta than other types of product…”
Depending on the study’s results, the archetype of ordinary woman might be successful for certain products, but it couldn’t be for all. So, in order to lead a successful advertising campaign, every brand has to choose the archetype of woman that would fit its product in order to reach the aimed success.