H&M? More like H&WowThisIsNotATypicalClothingAd
H&M’s new Autumn Collection ad brings forth a different set of standards not typically shown in clothing advertisements. This video, with the duration of just a mere minute and 12 seconds, encapsulates a different take on women’s fashion and aesthetic. Women are at parties, at home, outside, and in the office, among other locations, not being afraid to show their personalities and style. This advertisement utilizes the need for attention and the Jungian theory of story telling through the collective unconscious, deeming the ad effective due to the different types of women portrayed in the ad and how they connect with the environment they are placed in.
Women of all kinds are depicted as strong, empowered, and capable. In literally the first second, there is not a picture of a skinny model. Shocking! Wow! Instead, a plus-sized girl appears on the screen. In the next ten seconds, women of all races, body types, color, age, and height are shown. Although some of them look at their reflections in the mirror, they have a sense of empowerment that is typically not shown in clothing ads of such big brands like H&M. The women look careless, badass, free-willing, and most importantly, uncaring about others’ opinions of them. They all act as they please. The music playing throughout the ad, Lion Babe’s cover of Tom Jones’ “She’s a Lady”, includes lyrics like “And she always knows her place/she’s got style, she’s got grace/she’s a winner/She’s a lady”, further exemplifying that women can be graceful, yet powerful. These qualities demonstrate how H&M decided to stray from stereotypical features that women are typically depicted as, and instead, using cultural transmission, H&M decides not to mold women into a specific type of woman. They promote individuality and independence. Each woman in the video dresses and acts as she pleases. The most astonishing example in this video was when a woman strolls confidently into an office meeting. The shot is captured from a lower angle, so with her already high posture, she looks even taller and more dominant. This placement demonstrates the woman being strong and powerful. We live in a society where someone, like presidential nominee Donald Trump, has an economic advisory team that includes six men with the name of Steve, yet not a single woman. Just this simple shot defies that enforcement of norms. There are some women at an elegant dinner and for a second, there is a shot of a young girl innocently and curiously looking over at the women’s table. This video has the potential of reaching out to you a JUNGer (get it because the psychologist for this video is Jung? Hahaha!) audience, allowing more young women to understand that they do not have to fit into society’s norms and instead, focus on themselves and who they want to be. This message allows both older women and younger girls to feel a sense of empowerment, rather than hopelessness.
The element of class is prominently displayed through this advertisement. Women are regarded as intellectual, classy, and well-dressed, for obvious reasons, like the fact that it’s a clothing ad. This ad includes women of all colors. The Jungian belief of the collective unconscious, the fact that we are all connected unconsciously, therefore shaping our personality, is shown throughout this ad. When the young girl peers at the older women, there is an unconscious connection between her and the women. Women of all kinds are dressed well. Whether they are in their bathroom, a car, a poolside, a fancy dinner, or a bus, they are all styled well. Each outfit complements each woman’s physical features as well as the personalities they seem to have.
Women being depicted as weak and fragile has slowly come to a halt, while female empowerment has increased in the ad industry. With something as simple as style, a woman is able to let her personality show through. Items, like clothing, can augment or decrease the amount of confidence that a woman has. With ads like this, women can grow up not feeling useless and, instead, have a higher sense of self-esteem.