Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10321/3197
Title: The hidden sell : subversive advertising of fashion products in social media
Authors: Smith, Helen 
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: With the exorbitant growth in technological presence and the introduction of social media, a whole new realm of advertising and marketing possibilities has been opened to businesses. This study investigated people’s perceptions of the use of social media for advertising fashion products under the guise of social media interaction. In other words, online marketing is seen as “subversive” as it is a deceptive form of advertising using celebrity allure to attract prospective clients. The target population comprised females between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine as this population was found to represent the majority of social media users. The purpose of the study was to establish whether the social media users canvassed were aware of this subversive type of advertising, whether they responded by buying the products, and how effective they found this type of marketing overall. The research was carried out within a social constructivist framework, using a nested/embedded strategy in a mixed-methods approach. Users of social networking in South Africa were recruited by means of an Instagram post which introduced the idea of the “subversive sell” and gave them the option of participating in an online survey on the topic. Respondents were also offered the option of participating in two focus groups in the Durban area in order to obtain more in-depth feedback on this marketing strategy. Results showed that participants were aware of the fact that they were being targeted, and that they saw it as an inevitable outcome of using social media. However, it irritated them when realising that social media were saturated with advertisements, and that they should be importuned incessantly with such. They also reported that they would not necessarily purchase fashion products advertised in this way and would rather rely on word-of-mouth recommendations on social media from people using these products. Respondents did, however, comment on the immediacy and novelty of this form of advertising. It was concluded that subversive advertising via social media was not that different from the celebrity endorsements found in traditional media, and that people were responding to this strategy in similar ways.
Description: Dissertation submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of the Degree of MTech.: Fashion, Durban University of Technology, 2018.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10321/3197
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Arts and Design)

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