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Essay on Tom Ford: Advertising and Public Relations

7 pages
1879 words
Middlebury College
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Presently, various designers have been able to gain fame, and some include Calving Klein, Louis Vuitton, and Giorgio Armani. These designers have been able to revolutionize the fashion industry, and they have developed classic designs that have captured the attention of the target audience. Currently, Tom Ford is the most successful designer with his Tom Ford Brand. Ford began in the field of fashion and media and learned the details of the industry before establishing his brand. Tom Ford brand was created in April 2005, and the founder Tom Ford was joined by the former Gucci Group President and CEO Domenico De Sole. The brand is involved in design and creation of various fashion collections which entail Menswear, Eyewear, Womenswear, and TOM FORD Beauty (Miller, 2016). Tom Ford brand is characterized by luxury, polish, and sophistication. Through the brand, there has been the renaissance in menswear with increased use of pocket squares and bow ties among others. In 2005, the year of the company establishment, the eyewear collection debuted. There was then the establishment of the first menswear store in New York City with important acclaim from some popular designers. Currently, the Tom Ford brand has been undergoing strategic selection and expansion. The objective is to have 100 different Tom Ford retail stores in various parts of the globe (Miller, 2016). In the course of his fashion career, Ford was fascinated by fragrances having worked on several fragrances during his working days at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. And through this experience, he has created several men fragrances. There has been increased the popularity of Tom Ford eyewear and sunglasses brand, and it has emerged as the most popular eyewear brand. In the 21st century, the Tom Ford Beauty brand was the first luxury store of its kind and offers a classical collection of high-quality clothing (Miller, 2016). The brand is one of the leading in fashion brands internationally at the moment. In the provision of the high-quality products, The Company operates approximately 104 stores which 45 freestanding locations and other ships-in-shop. This is important in providing products to the consumers (Renfrow, 2015).

Tom Ford Promotion (Advertising) Strategy

Tom Ford knows how to appropriately display his ideas especially due to his prowess being a commercial designer. Ford is well aware of the image of sex appeal, and he considers the brand a "beacon of sleek, sexy, modern design." Most of the advertising done by Ford can be classified as a sexy and risque advertisement that has led to some controversy. In the advertisement processes, there is much nudity and sexuality. At the start, Ford used a controversial advertising campaign to establish media coverage (Miller, 2016). The company, therefore, use traditional media such as television and magazines to circulate the message to the target market.

Traditional Advertising Tools

There exist traditional advertising tools such as print publications (newspapers, newsletters, and magazines among others). There is also other long-time broadcast advertising means such as Television and radio (Barry, 2016). Tom Ford brand has used both the TV and magazines in their advertisement campaigns. For example, there is the case of Tom Ford Black Orchid which was featured in a TV commercial, and it was named A Force of Nature.' It features a nude woman standing vignette in a room that is described as shadowy (Miller, 2016). The woman is holding a Tom Ford's Black Orchid perfume very close to her chest. In this TV commercial, there is the description of scent as exotic, luxurious and seductive and is produced from a mixture of spice and darkness as an inspiration to the world. The brand uses stereotypical gender roles in the promotion of the some of its products. In the advertisement of the latest line of the eyewear, the different genders were depicted in their cliched state. An example is the feature of the Tom Ford ad in the Elle magazine (Miller, 2016).

Tom Ford ad in the Elle magazine (Miller, 2016).

Since the Tom Ford products are intended for the upper-middle and upper class, the advertisement was meant to inform the educated men on how to dress properly to able to obtain the ideal female. The message insinuates that man who wears Tom Ford eyeglasses can showcase ideal masculinity.

New Media and Advertisement Approaches

The recent times have seen an overtaking of the traditional media as advertisement media by the utilization of internet and other digital media (Belch & Belch, 2015). These include the use of social media classified as online advertisement and cell phone and mobile advertising. Tom Ford brand has mastered the art of social media use to advertise its products (Moore, 2014). This can be seen through the use of ads placed on the various social media platforms (Petcu, 2010). There has been an increasing popularity of the statement that fashion is going digital. It cannot be ignored especially that all high-flying magazines are providing additional materials online. This can either be on mobile, iPad or laptop and designers and shops have an internet presence.

In March, Tom Ford launched its first e-commerce site. Not being online inhibits the brand from reaching the billions of people who are actively utilizing the internet. Formerly, Tom Ford disputed the issue of using the internet since he argued that the clientele could be bored with collections before the products can reach the stores. This was until the company launch its websites to feature the brand designs (Mortimer, 2014). The founder claimed that he waited to introduce e-commerce after until ensuring a proper establishment of the brand online. The sites enable the company to advertise and attract the young generation. The use of social media to establish the interests of the target consumers and then tailor the products to suit them. Additionally, the launch of the e-commerce site was meant to advertise and give the mobile users a premium experience (Mortimer, 2014). Also in the advertisement, there was the creation of the imagery. It was meant for the online and social media. Tom Ford has been able to use their Instagram page adequately (Friedlander, 2014). They can advertise pictures of their products which are a mix of sharp tuxedos, handbags designed from exotic skins and vibrant signature scents. The brand has been able to stand prominently.

A photo on Tom Ford Instagram page (Friedlander, 2014).

Ford has ensured that the brand does convey a state of mind and also portrays personality. In creating the brand, he emphasized on his Italian roots which are great attention to detail and provision of superior designs. The use of black in various brand designs is a sign of formality and sophistication in addition to promoting the feeling of luxury.

The advertising strategy by Tom Ford has seen the growth of the brand to become a household name. With the use of key advertising decisions, the brand has been able to carve out an important reference point within the fashion industry. For instance, during his time at Gucci as a Creative Director, Ford was able to transform Gucci into a luxury powerhouse (Zeidan, 2012). It is well known for the four P's which are the main constituents of traditional marketing, and they include product, price, promotion, and place. The four P's are still critical, but it is true to point out that in luxury brands such as Tom Ford, they are second to a more imperative agenda of advertising. The advertising strategy of Tom Ford can be considered successful since it has been able to revolve around experience, exclusivity, engagement, and emotions of the target audience. During and after the recession, the consumers that are considered affluent did not minimize their spending. Despite the luxury brands still buying, there has been an increase in how selectively they do their spending. The question that has been mostly asked is if the products are worth it. To ensure its products still appeal to its clientele, Tom Ford has been able to use advertising strategy appropriately to create an image of uniqueness and compelling experiences (Greenhill, 2011). In the production and advertisement of the products, Tom Ford does view exclusivity casually, and this has been a prominent point of the brand success.

The use of digital media in advertising has helped the company control and promote the brand's exclusivity.

There is also the critical factor of engagement that is dependent on a story. The story can be developed through a branded video, Facebook posts or a website experience. Having an engaging content entails a story or a narrative having a start, middle and an ending and this story makes the clientele feel something (Greenhill, 2011). In this case, the advertising strategy features an ordinary figure who doesn't like being common. The founder of Tom Ford brand admits the unalienable masculinity destiny to make significant achievements and guides his company to achieve its destiny. Despite the struggles, the company realizes results, and therefore there is the discovery that true achievement is about confidence in addition to wielding great power. The advertising strategy adopted by Tom Ford brand showcases a triumphant, sext man who knows that the announcement of the triumph can be successfully made through the use of celebratory whispers. The elements of Tom Ford brand advertising strategy features a narrative of triumphant masculine destiny.

Another measure of the success of the brand's advertising strategy can be seen through the creation of emotions among the consumer base. The luxury brands such as Tom Ford target clients that can be almost any material thing they want (Greenhill, 2011). A specific emotion is what the luxury client is after. Customers buy Tom Ford products get the feel of being triumphant.

Despite the immense success recorded by Tom Ford brand, it is important to evaluate if there have been challenges to make appropriate recommendations. For instance, analysis can be conducted on the Tom Ford's cologne advertisement. In the picture used advertisement, there are women whose sexual organs are blocked by a cologne bottle.

A photo of Tom Ford Cologne Advertisement ((Greenhill, 2011).

This advert is presenting a highly sexual message, and the placement of the product is to attract men's attention and the sexualizing the adverts helps in the edging of the competition (Greenhill, 2011). The advert can be considered smart but also problematic. It can be considered problematic since it has a high sexualized depiction of women. The risk taken by the company is the adoption of advertising strategy that may be offensive to women. Additionally, some viewers think that the advertisements by the company are pornographic. Through the ad's location limitations, Tom Ford can lose clients to competitors who advertise their products without the worry about ads disrespecting viewers.


It is evident that the advertising strategy implemented by Tom Ford is overly controversial. Despite the brands success, more can be achieved if the advertisement strategy is rectified. For some time Ford had been against the idea of using social media to offer products to the consumers. However, this stand has been changing which can be seen by the development of the brands E-commerce site. Some of the recommendations would be the use of research tools in the advertising strategy. The advance of modern technology has promoted the ability of advertisers to carry out market research and test during the development of ads. Tom Ford can use research tools in extensively collecting consumer data online (Ingram, 2018). The feedback and opinions can be evaluated. This will ensure that the company only presents information...

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