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The Impact of Surrealism on Fashion Advertising

142). The fashion advertisers of the time were particularly interested in appealing to the sophisticated lifestyle of the successful city dweller. As such, many of the surrealistic elements in fashion ads were centered around what Marchand calls the "language of urbanity" (p. 339). Elements of surrealism were often used to create a fantasy image of the sophisticated city life. Regarding such ads, Marchand has claimed: "Their eye-catching, sometimes surrealistic juxtapositions of objects introduced readers into the visual language of the city with its contrasts and discontinuities" (p. 339). Again, the purpose of this was to make the consumer identify with the product through the subliminal suggestion that the product would help him or her to become a successful urbanite.

There are various ways in which surrealistic art in fashion advertisements helped to express the American ideals of the time. The ideals of Americans then, as well as now, included striving for success, happiness, and acceptance by others. These ideals were expressed primarily through the surrealistic element of fantasy. The premise behind using surrealism in advertising is that all American consumers fantasize about being richer, happier, or healthier. In addition, it is presumed that all American consumers wish to increase their social status as much as possible. Surrealism in fashion advertisements played off those fantasies in order to encourage consumer identification with particular products. By the early 1930's, advertisers had come to realize that fantasy is a much better stimulus than "realism" in selling consumer goods. In the words of Atwan, McQuade & Wright (1979): "Most people, advertisers discovered, prefer fantasy and glorification of their workaday lives, especially when someone's trying to sell them something" (p. 5). This is especially true in the case of fashion advertisements. Fashion goods are among those products which are, "like ...

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The Impact of Surrealism on Fashion Advertising. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 03:24, September 20, 2017, from
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