French Culture as seen in Advertising


Figure 1b., Philip Plein, Paris Vogue October 2013 without clothes

Culture has always been represented in popular advertising because advertisements follow styles and ideals that are popular among mass markets. Advertisements are found in media including television, radio, and especially magazines. Vogue is a popular magazine in America and France, but both magazine editions differ in respect to their culture. Vogue Paris edition portrays more art and couture clothing, while American Vogue portrays more celebrity endorsements and ready to wear clothes. The advertisements represented in each magazine prove the relaxed nature of French press vs. the structured advertisements of the American press. By studying the strengths and weaknesses of the advertising techniques in each magazine, the uniqueness of French culture is exposed. French advertisements usually lack in the formal hard sell and informative type of advertising but rather relate to a consumer through soft sell and emotion. I have analyzed the differences of sell techniques and style between French and American advertisements in Vogue magazines.

American advertising in Vogue publications is more conservative and geared toward the modern day middle class worker and homeowner. The styles that are promoted are usually what celebrities favor and what the modern customer can afford. The American Vogue, although very artistic compared to other fashion magazines, is not as fashion forward as Paris Vogue. The unique style of French advertising mirrors the humor, romance, fine art, and cuisine in France. French consumers are able to interpret French advertisements because they understand cultural references. French history, social and political situations, familiar landscapes, monuments, and French literature are all positions that advertising takes. Rather than just selling products based on information, French advertising looks at telling a story and letting the consumer be persuaded to buy through emotion. Both countries are able to sell and advertise goods, items, or services in their own distinct way. French advertising techniques could be less informative than American advertising but gain the attention and culture that American advertising lacks. American advertising could lack artistic ideals but be more consumer-friendly than French advertisements. Product manufacturers in America could want their product to be sold rather than expressing their own ideas and emotions. America, being a business-based country expresses this through informative and assertive advertisements. While France being a relaxed and artistic country, expresses itself through risky and dynamic advertisements. Culture will continue to be represented through advertising in both countries for years to come.

French Culture as seen in Advertising

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