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Luxury Advertising Strategy Is Getting an Anti-Makeover: The Turn Towards Accessible Luxury 

Apr 02, 2024

Marketing News

Luxury Advertising Strategy Is Getting an Anti-Makeover: The Turn Towards Accessible Luxury 

Luxury used to pride itself on being unattainable. New luxury advertising strategy is trying to shift away from this as fast as possible. So, what changed?

Media like Gossip Girl and The Devil Wears Prada made their millions on making viewers everywhere drool with jealousy. It seems like just yesterday that every girl at school was trying to imitate Serena Van der Woodsen’s latest style with their fake Chanel. 

Yet, these days, luxury is taking a new approach. 

Exclusivity is out. A lack of diversity, a solid, impenetrable blockade of wealth between consumer and luxury fashion designer no longer sells. We no longer flip through glossy, over-priced fashion magazines to catch a glimpse of Gucci’s latest designs. 

Instead, we scroll through TikTok. We expect inclusivity and morals from brands. We want models that look like us, talk like us, and feel like one of us. We want designers that reference memes, that join in on online conversation, and who listen to what we want. 

It goes without saying, therefore, that the old ways of luxury just aren’t going to cut it anymore. 

So, which brands are up for the challenge? How have major names been adjusting? And, why the sudden divergence from the traditional luxury desires? 

Read on to find out more. 

@prada

A laughing matter. #PradaSS24

♬ suono originale – Prada

LUXURY ADVERTISING STRATEGY : WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING? 

Over the past few years, we have seen a major shift in the way that luxury advertises itself. 

Luxury advertising strategy used to hinge itself on exclusion. Models like Kate Moss rose to fame with their cool girl exterior, their air of unattainability and distance from the average consumer. Luxury advertising strategy focused on consumers’ desires. The aim was to make people long for the life they could lead if they were wearing the latest Louis Vuitton collection; a life of paparazzi, fashion shows, expensive cocktail parties and even more expensive shoes. 

This line of luxury advertising strategy worked for decades. Consumers gobbled it up, falling prey to the trap that luxury brands laid them. But, something shifted. Social media. 

@gucci

A special premiere. ‘Who is Sabato De Sarno? A Gucci Story’ debuts today on MUBI. #GucciAncora

♬ suono originale – Gucci

The introduction of social media to society has made consumers more brand literate and industry savvy than ever. We now understand what it takes to make a campaign, how long a properly made garment should really last, and the dark underbelly of the fashion industry. 

This has made Gen-Z in particular incredibly difficult to market to.

Luxury advertising strategy hinged around extravagant lifestyles and quotes like “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” – yep, Kate Moss really said that – no longer work on Gen-Z consumers. They come off as disingenuous, out of touch, and wholly boring. 

Instead, consumers want a luxury advertising strategy that will cater to their current interests. They want campaigns that feel real, tangible and human run. They want brands that understand their needs, conduct social listening and have excellent community engagement. They want TikTok lives with the head make-up artist of Miu Miu and Oscar red carpet interviews led by Amelia Dimoldenberg. 

@louisvuitton

#AlexaChung #PhoebeDynevor #ZahoDeSagazan #ShayMitchell #SandraHuller #OuyangNana #LVFW24 #LouisVuitton #TikTokFashion #ParisFashionWeek

♬ son original – Louis Vuitton

 If you’ve been paying attention, then this shouldn’t be news to you. 

Consumers have shown an increasing desire for authenticity and genuinity from the brands they engage with over the past few years. Yet, it has taken luxury a touch longer than most sectors to catch up. 

We are now seeing a stark increase in the number of big names adopting a new kind of luxury advertising strategy. Brands such as Gucci, Bottega Vendetta and Miu Miu have gathered quite the following from Gen Z consumers due to their successful luxury advertising strategy.

But, what is it about these campaigns that consumers love? 

SUCCESSFUL LUXURY ADVERTISING STRATEGY

Bottega Veneta 

@luluzuri

Kendall Jenner walks her dog wearing Bottega Veneta #kendalljenner #bottegaveneta #fashion

♬ Tshwala Bam (feat. S.N.E, EeQue) – Titom & Yuppe

Bottega Veneta’s now infamous paparazzi campaign shocked fans and consumers everywhere when it hit the scene in late 2023.  

The luxury brand managed to advertise their upcoming collection, drawing in features from Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and all major fashion publications before it was even announced. How? Paparazzi. 

In a jaw droppingly smart move, the brand dressed celebrities Kendall Jenner and ASAP Rocky head to toe in their new collection and sent them out into the world. Naturally, the celebrities were quickly papped, and the images wound up everywhere on the internet. The photos became incredibly famous, with fashion magazines and accounts across the globe rushing to share the seemingly unstaged photos. 

Then, a few months later, Bottega Veneta re-released the images with their logo slapped across them. Consumers were shocked to find out that not only were the images planned, but that the clothes they had been clamouring for were from the new collection. 

The move was incredibly successful as it drummed up two waves of publicity. The first, when consumers first saw the images, understood them as paparazzi photos, and spread them as such. The second, when users became aware of the photos as a luxury advertising strategy  and spread the word once again. 

Ultimately, Bottega Veneta found the perfect luxury advertising strategy to meld luxury fashion with the accessibility that consumers now demand from brands. Users were easily able to connect with the images as they were paparazzi pictures; a far cry from the brand’s usual highly staged, expensive looking campaigns. Users were able to engage with the campaign far easier too, as they could share it, talk about it, and plaster it across the internet as they wished.

Miu Miu 

@miumiu

Miu Miu TV: Miuccia Prada’s nickname is Miu Miu – what is yours? #MiuMiuTV #MiuMiuFW24 #MiucciaPrada #DietroLeQuinte #TikTokFashion @Julia Hobbs

♬ original sound – Miu Miu

Miu Miu provides a wonderful example of how luxury brands are adapting their social media platforms to better cater to Gen Z audiences. 

The popular Italian luxury brand has a growing interest amongst younger consumers, primarily sparked by the fact that it works with younger influencers. To cater to their audience, Miu Miu shifted their social media tactics during Fashion Week. Rather than simply posting videos from the show, which can come off as unfeeling and inaccessible to consumers, the brand took viewers behind the scenes. 

Using a Chicken Shop Date approach, Miu Miu sent influencer Julia Hobbs backstage armed with a tiny microphone. Hobbs chatted with models, asked crazy questions, and delivered pizza. By showing their models off in a casual manner, Miu Miu allowed users to connect with the brand on a personal level. 

The content felt wholly authentic, and human driven. Luxury models can often seem untouchable and concrete-esque, but Miu Miu’s content presented them as just like any other Gen Z-er. As such, their viewers felt far more attached to the brand as a whole, and it was taken down off its pedestal as a highly sought after luxury brand. 

LUXURY ADVERTISING STRATEGY: FINAL THOUGHTS

Ultimately, a new dawn is rising in the world of luxury. 

To adjust to consumers’ desires, brands are shifting their luxury advertising strategy. Long gone are the days where desire, inaccessibility and exclusivity sold. Brands are having to convince consumers that they are authentic, listening, and tuned in to consumers desires. 

Why now? As previously mentioned, social media has armed consumers with increasing media and brand literacy. Consumers know what they want and they know how to ask brands for it. Whilst luxury may have typically stood above consumer expectations, now, the pull of consumers’ wants is too strong for even the most untouchable brands to avoid. Even long standing brands such as Tiffany’s have had to bow down to the modern consumer. 

@loewe

100% BOP! Head to IG to watch our new film ‘Decades of confusion’ featuring @Dan Levy #LOEWE

♬ original sound – LOEWE

So, how can luxury brands be sure to connect with Gen-Z consumers, yet still hold onto their luxury status? 

Luxury brands need to lean into a more accessible attitude in order to touch politically aware, globally engaged Gen-Z consumers. They must live in the moment, rather than relying on their history and the past. Heritage means little to Gen-Z, who care more about how a brand acts in the here and now. Brands must be active on social media, cast aside their elitist tone of voice, and find creative ways to speak their consumers’ language without cheapening the image of their product. This can be through tactical social media posting (Miu Miu) or creative campaigning (Bottega Vendetta). 

Finding this happy medium, where brands are speaking with (not at) consumers whilst still maintaining their luxury status, is the key to winning over Gen-Z consumers as a luxury brand. 

All in all, it’s time for luxury to shrug off their stuffy ideals of the past, and embrace a generation who is ready to give the industry an anti-makeover. 

Our influencer marketing agency and social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to find industry insights, visit our influencer marketing and social media blogs.

@sociallypowerful

Author

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Ella Proctor

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