Audiovisual Storytelling Approaches in the Marketing of Luxury Clothing Brands

Audiovisual Storytelling Approaches in the Marketing of Luxury Clothing Brands

Álvaro Jiménez Sánchez, María Rosa Frontera Sánchez
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1859-5.ch012
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Since ancient times, clothes have served to distinguish between different social classes. The marketing of luxury brands has been characterized by changing and full of multiple strategies. One of them is the use of storytelling, called the art of storytelling. This chapter delves into the use of audiovisual storytelling within the main brands of haute couture worldwide: Chanel, D&G, Versace, Dior, Prada, Burberry, Armani, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci. The objective of the investigation is to analyze elements such as the narrative, the characters, the plot, or the aesthetics used. The sample consists of more than 50 ads, of which 24 were taken as storytelling. The results show different styles in the use of the narrative, as well as different archetypes in the characters and various aesthetic, formal and content patterns according to the brand under investigation.
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The communication and advertising strategies of fashion brands have been characterized by being especially changing (Fionda & Moore, 2009; Jin & Cedrola, 2017). Audiovisual advertising is one of the most important aspects of this business marketing. Among the many styles and formats commonly used is storytelling, a cross-media approach conceptualized as the “art of storytelling” (Miller, 2014; Scolari, 2009; Woodside & Sood, 2016).

Briefly, storytelling is based on telling a narrative, usually following classic Aristotelian patterns. Its use dates back to the first civilizations, and it is in the twentieth century that it acquires a new dimension in spaces such as marketing, especially since the 50s with the narratif turn. Principal elements common to such stories are the exposition-climax-denouement structure, the use of conflict, turning points and identification with the characters, all couched within various character typologies and established plot devices (Salmon, 2016).“Storytelling outside the context of entertainment, where the narration progresses as a sequence of patternsimpressive in quality, relates to a serious context, and is a matter of thoughtful process” (Lugmayr et al, 2016). These authors develop and emphasize the serious storytelling model taking into account the “4C” (Context, Content, Course and Channel).

Given the effectiveness of these elements and their cross-media nature, brands have historically used them in multiple formats and in different ways (Editorial Team, 2018; Fog et al, 2010; Sergeant, 2014; Woodside, 2010).

Luxury fashion has certainly used storytelling for marketing leverage, either to promote a specific product or the brand itself and the study described here follows the analysis contained in various reports and research into this phenomenon (Donzé & Wubs, 2018; Kim et al, 2016; Wed, 2016; Perdomo, 2015; Timson, 2017).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Marketing: Techniques or studies that have the objective of improve the commercialisation of a product.

Fashion: Type of clothing, accessories and ornaments that are used or become a habit during a specific period of time.

Narration: Story where something real or fictional is told.

Luxury: To show wealth. Combination of dispensable things that are very expensive.

Advertising: Spreading of news, opinions, or ideas of different nature with the goal of someone to buy a certain product.

BRAND: Commercial name of a type of products.

Storytelling: Art of telling stories. In marketing, it is used to connect the message with the users.

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