Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Fashion Ads Made Easy

(Click image for hugeness.) Are you considering attending a community college to get your Associate's degree in fashion marketing? Perhaps you are taking bids from ad agencies to create your next two-page spread for your summer collection. Well, either one of those endeavors would be a huge waste of money and time. All you need is internet access, Photoshop, maybe a digital camera and a cheaply paid model or two.

You start with a location, preferably somewhere desolate, abandoned and fairly ugly. In this instance we've chosen an old, defunct gas station location stolen from someone's Picasa account. Other popular locations include barns, alleys, deserts and beaches. If you go with a beach location, make sure the day is gloomy and overcast. Next, do an image search for "sullen" or something equally unhappy and you will come up with someone like our model in the foreground. ("Somber" also works.) She is not modeling your clothing, and that is perfectly fine. She is there to make the viewer say "What the hell?" A hint of skin is essential. If not, he or she should be completely covered, perhaps in a burka, adding to the "Huh?" factor.

Now you are ready to feature your product. In this instance, we will assume it's the man's coat. Or his shoes. Doesn't matter in the least. Unless you are creating in-store posters for Target or Wal-Mart, it is absolutely essential that your models be forbidden to smile. While most fashion models should be fairly practiced at the unsmiling pose, we want total authenticity. It is often helpful if you berate him or her, telling them things that will hurt a model's feelings, such as, "Damnit! I wanted a slim model!" or "Holy crap! I asked for "sexy guy" and they send me YOU?" Your product need not be featured upfront, in fact, it is best if it is not. Oftentimes, you may choose to not even show your product, which is fine. We are setting a mood, creating an illusion, and sometimes your product simply ruins the ad.

You may wonder if you need a headline now. No, you do not. What are you going to say? Something clever, mysterious or hip? Don't try it. All you need now is your fashion line's name, very large. And it is key that the first and last letters of the name extend out of the ad's frame. Then bring down the opacity of the name.

Congratulations, you are now a fashion ad designer.

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