European Luxury Fashion Brand Advertising & Marketing Relating to Nostalgia: A focus on Dolce & Gabbana adverts with a comparison to Italian cinema after World War II

2018 edition

Pelin Ok

This research seeks to examine how European luxury fashion brands use nostalgia in their advertising & marketing, and how the nostalgia related adverts of Dolce and Gabbana reflect Italian society & their lifestyle, and female body  with a comparison to Italian cinema after World War II. The research has 4 aims: Initially it aims to analyze how European luxury fashion brands use nostalgia as a theme in their advertising, and marketing. Secondly to analyze the benefits of using nostalgia in these luxury fashion adverts. The third aim is to analyze if, and how these nostalgia related adverts reflect & represent Italian society, and their lifestyle with a comparison to Italian cinema as a reflection of society, by a focus on the adverts of Dolce and Gabbana, and finally to analyze the female body representations in the nostalgia related adverts of Dolce & Gabbana with a comparison to Italian cinema after World War II. Furthermore, the research has 4 objectives in order to answer the research questions, and to achieve its aims. First it aims to identify, and analyze various European luxury fashion brands’ advertising relating to nostalgia from fashion magazines such as Vogue by a content analysis of imagery. Secondly it aims to create a model which is a development of the model of Van Laer et al. (2014).  Thirdly to analyze secondary data related to Italian Society, and Italian cinema after World War II; and finally to provide managerial implications beyond the theory for advertisers, and marketers.

Under the light of social constructivism philosophy, and heuristic inquiry strategy; this research adopts content analysis of imagery as a research method. A qualitative content analysis of imagery was conducted via the software NVIVO in order to analyze the adverts of 5 luxury fashion brands which target the European market from the year 2010 to 2016. Second part of the research analyzed Dolce & Gabbana adverts related to nostalgia from the advertising campaign of 2010 to 2017 by also content analysis of imagery. The second part of the research focused on nostalgic D&G adverts since they represent culture, tradition, and history of Italy with getting inspired by Italian cinema after World War II. Key themes, and key words which were structured for the content analysis were determined by the frequently used terminology of nostalgia, narrative transportation, and cinema literature.

This research has an original value since it fills the gap in the literature by offering a different product category to investigate for nostalgia literature: Luxury fashion brands’ advertising. It also fills the gap by offering a different cultural context to examine: European luxury fashion brands, and examining luxury fashion brand characteristics within the narratives of luxury fashion advertising.