Dkny Media Studies, Advertisement

DKNY Assignment Donna Karan: At sixty four, Donna Karan is still one of the most influential fashion designers in the world of classic and comfortable clothing; Donna Karan International (DKI) defines the metropolitan flair that bridges the difference between stylishly casual and conventional wear. The company designs and sells men’s and women’s clothing, including suits, sportswear, accessories, and shoes, under the Donna Karan New York, DKNY, DKNY Jeans, and DKNY Active labels amongst several others. DKI sells to upscale department and speciality stores as well as its own its own establishments.

It also licenses third parties to run most of its international stores. Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy holds a majority stake in Donna Karan, although designer Karan still remains in creative control of its fashion lines and helps maintain her namesake brand. The main themes in both the print and TV adverts present DKNY as a perfume and a brand as both seductive and desirable, yet accepted as professional for successful businesswomen globally. Focussing on the print advert, the representation of the brand through the model fits with the male gaze ideology, applying to this advert even though the product is targeted at women.

Many fashion photographers and directors are male, this specific shot taken by Mikael Jansson, therefore sell the product through the male eyes, and now women will automatically view it through those eyes too, after it having being used in the media world for years. DKNY strikes the balance between passion and nature, reflecting our needs for belonging and relationship, a modern take on the story of Adam and Eve which is suggested by the apple as a focus point in the ads and finished product.

This is shown by the lighting and focus in the print and an extreme close up in the TV advert. The apple represents the forbidden fruit in the bible story of Genesis (meaning Lara Stone would be seen as playing the character of Eve) which connotes irresistibility and temptation. Furthermore, the apple is already bitten in the print advert, suggesting that the fragrance holds the secret to the woman’s allure. In the TV commercial it is made clear that Lara Stone becomes more attractive to the man after she thanks him for his help with a seductive bite.

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The connotation of an apple is fresh and invigorating, which adds a certain flare to the simple romance narrative of the ad and suggests the scent may do the same to the buyer’s love lives. Lara Stone somewhat follows the guidelines for the ‘stereotypical blonde’, reinforcing the ‘ bimbo’ expectations of society. Almost floating around her flawless natural face is her golden hair, perceived to be so perfect and innocent it is almost heavenly; this connotes an angelic side to the otherwise sensual advert.

Adding to the seductive themes of the advert is the innocent yet knowing stare of Lara Stone into the camera lens, embracing her inner ‘siren’ and her slightly parted anticipating dewy lips, as if expecting a kiss rather than having taken a bite of an apple. She instantly becomes somebody the target audience would aspire to either be or look like, suggesting how the fragrance may impact the audiences self-esteem making them wish to wear it, self-esteem hitting Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

The product itself, which is designed to look like an apple has a reflection of New York on it, this represents ‘The Big Apple’ the audience will be able to make the connection. New York is seen as the epicentre of modern world, the desirable life, a ‘city that never sleeps’ a reflection of both success and fashion simultaneously, DKNY’s brand reflection also. The imagery of New York in relation to the brand name also fits. Titling the printed advert below the model are burnished gold letters spelling ‘delicious’, a statement, ‘golden’ tilting slightly over the top left corner of the text in a cursive type face.

This links to the falling apples in the TV ad, the falling of the word. Aside of this, the rest of the ad’s copy is simple, white and straight to the point. The main themes of the print advert are carried through to the broadcast version of the ‘Delicious’ campaign, conveying the same ideologies and messages to the audience. However I personally think it adds another dimension both to the model/actress and the product itself, seeming more developed and relaxed, not as intense as the staring portrait of Lara Stone in the print advertisement.

It narrates the model on a morning walk to work, or so the audience can assume, showing the successful life she leads holding down a job in the ‘Big Apple’ whilst being so relaxed and naturally perfect. This breaks the stereotype earlier mentioned, though is soon subverted when she plays out the character of the classic ‘damsel in distress’ as her clumsiness is made evident at an apple stall, soon rescued by a typical dark haired handsome ‘hero’ figure.

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