Monthly Archives: November, 2012

Sweet heart

Today I would like to talk about exploiting the theme of relationships in advertising. I consider 3 main aspects about this type of advertisements: 1) motivation, 2) emotions, 3) values.

The basic theory used by marketers that comes to my mind is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1970). The level of love/belonging is well involved in the kind of commercials I’m discussing in this post. The motivation to be loved and accepted as who you are can be satisfied in different aspects such as family, friendship, personal relationship, including sexual intimacy ect. Thus, advertisements are also made to appeal to these different areas of relationships.

Furthermore, one of the crucial aspects of such adverts is creating special mood, triggering positive emotions associated with warmth and safety in close interpersonal communication. In a successful case the bind is to be built between emotions of a prospective consumer being exposed to a particular commercial and a product that is advertised. So this link is very important in making brand relationship between a brand and a consumer (Kardes et al., 2011).  Consumer feelings is one of the basic ‘stones’ in the Customer-based Brand Equity Pyramid (Keller, 2007). No brad can be developed without respect to this psychological function.

The impact of adverts portraying relationships and positioning the brad as one that in a similar sort of relationships with costumers  is very strong not only because of motivational and emotional aspects mentioned before, but also due to appealing to so called terminal values such as true friendship, family security, mature love (Pollay, 1983).

I have selected several adverts devoted to different kinds of relationships. Here they are.

This one is my favourite. It’s about close relations within the family and it makes us think that the product – Volkswagen Polo – provides us with the safety we got in our family.

This a a funny advert by Vodafone that deals with relationships in a couple:

This one is about relationships of two sisters:

This advert deals with friendship:

Here is extremely nice advert about life-long love:

A little bit sad, but beautiful advert about care of a brother towards his sister:

  1. Kardes F., Cline T., Cronley M. (2011). Consumer behavior: Science and Practice. International edition: South-Western, Cengage Learning
  2. Keller K. L. (2007). Strategic brand management: building, measuring, and managing brand equity, 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
  3. Maslow, A. H. (1970). Motivation and personality. NY: Harper
  4. Pollay, R. W. (1983). Measuring the cultural values manifest in advertising. Current issues in Advertising, 6:71-92

big problems


When I started thinking about plus-size culture, I realised that there is another niche that is actually important too. As long as I belong to this category of consumers, I understand all their problems and the market situation around this specific niche.

The Built-in Bra Issue

Here is a film about physical & psychological troubles women with big breasts face. It’s long, but you can watch it, if you are particularly in this problem fro psychological point of view. It is based on the stories of tree girls, comments of psychologiest are being provided throughout this documentary film.

Yes, big bust is really an obstacle to look nice, because it is not easy to find right clothes that fit you well. Sometimes a shirt is okay on your breast, but loose on your waist. The other problem is choosing bras. Nowadays things have been changing and it is easier to find nice bras for big boobs. Anyway, the wide choice is not available everywhere.

Interestingly, most of those retailers who sell clothes for big busted women operate on-line. Unfortunately, not all of them have a wide range of clothes. Usually they are pretty very boring. Sometimes busty consumers have nothing to do, but just to buy something that more or less fits. My message is that the fashion industry has to put more attention to it and develop ‘big bust friendly’ field.

Let’s have a look at what have been already done to satisfy needs of women with big breasts. I am going to discuss two companies as examples of making business based on the need of millions consumers to dress big breasts nicely.

The first company that grabbed my attention was Pepperberry.


The firm was launched in 2011. Their philosophy consists in a simple phrase: ‘Clothes designed for your boobs in mind’. Pepperberry emphasises that it is very important for women to feel good-looking and confident in their shape. It is said they provide clothes that perfectly accommodate big boobs. It is highlighted  that with Pepperberry you don’t need to bother about the style and compromise while choosing between style and fitting well. They have a simple guide for shopping at their website. The sizes available are 8-18, so it’s not about plus-size, but about big bust. While ordering a dress you select options: curvy, really curvy, super curvy.

Peperberry also has a style service in order to help girls to find the right clothes that make them feel good. I find their dresses nice, but there is lack of variety so far.

Another company that seems to be interesting to me in terms of offering ‘special’ products is Miss Fit.

It was created in 2008 by Nikki Hesford. She asserts that her the success is in finding a niche within the niche  That means that she decided to concentrate on selling underwear for busted women, even though some other types of clothes are also presented on the website. The Big Bra Bar. com quickly became popular. Nikki is convinced that selling on-line is the best way for a niche product to gain popularity. The mechanism is the following: when you don’t know where to find something, you turn to the internet. That is why it is important for niche retailers to place their products in a space where people are searching for them!

To end… here is the person who inspired me to write up this post:







Gorgeous consumers


Today I would like to talk about plus-size culture.  It may be noticed that curvy shapes are still not perceived enough beautiful by everyone. The discussion around non-standard (or maybe just not thin) bodies is going on in some media.

Let’s watch this video about an article in Plus-size Model magazine:

For many years since fashion was created plus-size consumers had been ignored. The situating has been changing as companies finally understood that this is a huge market and selling things to curvy women is a really profitable business!

This is my favourite commercial advertising plus-size clothes, which, by the way, was banned for ‘being too sexy’ to show it at TV peak hours:

As a matter of fact, the number of Plus-size stores is growing. The top UK on-line stores are ASOS curve, Dorothy Perkins,  Evans, Simply Be, New Look Inspire ect.

Recently I wrote an article asserting that nowadays we have a boom of plus-size business. In this article plus-size business in discussed on the example of a new chain of stores called ‘Fashion to figure’ opened in USA. It provides clothes for women with 12-26 size. The fist thing that grabs my attention – from 12! I am 14-16 and it is yet considered to be non-standard, while it’s the average size among women… That shows that a current ‘standard’ store does not satisfy needs of the majority of women! Anyway, the idea is really simple, but at the same time great. The main message of  ‘Fashion to figure’ CEO is that they make women feel pretty and confident about their appearance regardless of their size. Source:

However, there is still lack of options for plus-size women, especially outside USA and Western Europe. As I am from Russia, I decided to conduct a small survey in the most popular Russian network I placed two questions in a group ‘Full happiness’ where all the issues regarding life of a curvy woman are discussed. Finally, I got 78 responses for the first question and 49 for the second one. Both questions were closed, several options were given. The first question was the following: In your opinion, where are most of all adverts about plus size products placed? Have a look at the results.

According to the diagram, participants believe that plus-size commercials are concentrated in the internet. On the other hand, many people think that these adverts are primarily showed in special plus-size media. It can be said that there is only one plus-size media in Russia and it is not well-known due to the lack of advertising. Other three options got very low responses.

The next question was the following: In your opinion, how widespread is plus-size advertising? The results on this question are shown below.

The majority of participants are convinced that plus-size advertising is rare. Interestingly,  some of participants, although being members of plus-size community, have never faced with such adverts. Only 1 of 49 people, who answered this question, feels that there is enough advertisements on this topic.

Retailers of plus-size products make their way in the fashion industry, but it takes years to create plus-size culture in a country…

To be continued.





Diet paranoia in advertising and the problem of fat-phobia

As it can be seen, TV and magazines often contain advertisements about losing weight by means of ‘super slim’ pills or other ‘natural’ prodats. Interestingly, they usually promise we will get slim without any exercise and changes in diet. ‘Magic’ indeed:


Today I would like to concentrate on a specific  aspect of a considerable part of female consumers – fat phobia that is caused by the image of ‘ideal’ body portrayed in mass media. Research done by M. Onden-Lim and J. R. Grisham (2012) shows that there is a significant link between this kind of concern about ‘right’ body and suppresion of appearance-ralated pictures. That is to say the more a person is anxious about the way he/she looks like, the more negative feelings that person tend to get when being faced with intrusive picuters showing appearance (Onden-Lim &  Grisham, 2012).

For many women fat-phobia begins at the very young age…Recently I found the article that tells a story of a mother, who is keen on controlling everuthing her seven year old dauther eats:
It is mostly about teaching a child to think about how she looks rather than how to take care about her health. Fat-phobia obsession is a serious problem that do not allow many women to live fully and enjoy their lives.

Here is another material on fat-phobia that a young girl has:

Not only for children, but also for adults it is very pretty important to be accepted by society and a particular culture they live in.  It was proved that negative social feedback influences our self-dissatisfaction about a body (Byely et al., 2000; McCabe & Ricciardelli, 2005). People with weight over than the avarage are explicitly or implicitly considered not to be enough attractive and successful. According to  BBC broadcaster Amy Lame, ‘Discrimination, bias and just plain rudeness is directed towards a group of people who are too often regarded as stupid, lazy, ugly and ultimately responsible for their overweight state’ (source:

In my opinion this problem mostly deals with neurotic society supported by advertisements produced by this society.

There is a strong reason to stop for a while and think about who you are as a person, not as a body. To make an attempt to think independently. To look into people’s souls, not on how they look like. To think ‘healthy’, not ‘skinny’. We are all consumers in this world, but is it right to look at ourselves as products and consider other people the same way?…