Why So Many Fashion Brands Are Casting Their Own Employees in Ad Campaigns
It’s a new era for fashion and beauty ads. Spurred in part by a renewed energy around female empowerment and by the role social media plays in their lives, consumers appear to crave—and increasingly demand—authenticity from the images used to sell them clothing and makeup.
Brands often hear from shoppers when their campaigns lack diversity; celebrities sometimes speak out when they feel a photo of them has been overly manipulated. Meanwhile, Target’s unretouched swimwear ads continue to be lauded; designers such as Diane von Furstenberg and Rebecca Minkoff have eschewed professional models altogether for their recent lookbooks and ads, instead highlighting a diverse crew of “real” women.
Still, diversity for diversity’s sake—if not executed in a way that feels genuine and cogent—can come off as tokenism. In order to achieve authenticity, many retailers are looking at a different talent pool to cast their ads: their own employees. Not only are they relatable to customers, but they can serve a larger purpose as true brand evangelists. Who knows the company better than someone already on the payroll?