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POLO Ralph Lauren Advertising Retrospective Open Access

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Thesis StatementThis thesis deconstructs POLO Ralph Lauren advertisements under the lenses of American lifestyle & values and feminist theory highlighting how interior design helps define the POLO Ralph Lauren brand, synonymous with the American Dream.AbstractDavis, Heather, POLO Ralph Lauren Interior Design Advertising Retrospective: Using Interior Design to Help Define the Corporate Brand. Masters of Art (Interior Design), May 2009 Image creates the ultimate brand. Advertising exposure enables designers like Ralph Lauren to merge fashion design and interior design to create the POLO Ralph Lauren brand through complex print advertisements. Ralph Lauren is set apart from his peers because he has created a strategic alliance between his brand and the American Dream. Although the concept of the American Dream is subjective, POLO Ralph Lauren's sophisticated advertisements communicate a sense of Americana imagery by melding fashion and interiors with elements of American history, culture and values. This work posits that Ralph Lauren has no equal when it comes to portraying America in interior design advertisements as explored in this Advertising Retrospective featuring POLO Ralph Lauren advertisements from  www.polo.com from Fall 2002 to Spring 2009 and Ralph Lauren. This work suggests that interior design is integral to furthering the Polo Ralph Lauren message and brand, now synonymous with the American Dream. The first segment explores American lifestyle & values advertisements showing how POLO Ralph Lauren ads use interior design to impart the American Dream. The first topic, Branding Americana, illustrates how POLO Ralph Lauren design inspiration is deeply rooted in American history. From faded denim to Navajo prints, POLO Ralph Lauren clothing and interiors incorporate uniquely American historic attributes into the company's collections in the form of materials & finishes, color palettes, Navajo symbols and the American West. The second concept, American Lifestyle, showcases POLO Ralph Lauren advertisements that rely on interior design to brand the Polo lifestyle. These ads communicate to consumers that the American lifestyle can be purchased as a complete packaged commodity in the form of entertainment & leisure through Americana design motifs. The third area of exploration, American Values, highlights uniquely American decorative accessories in POLO Ralph Lauren interiors, which make bold statements about the American spirit. This segment surveys American values in the form of art and politics plus the symbolism behind them. Lastly, The American Home focuses on the POLO Ralph Lauren website which provides consumer advice for creating an American home using POLO Ralph Lauren interior design advice. Home Collection ads give consumers a multidimensional sensory experience showing them how to bring the American Dream into their own homes. The second section deconstructs Polo Ralph Lauren advertisements under the framework of feminist theory, highlighting ads that strategically position women and interior design together to advance the brand. The first segment explores female models as decorative beings established as the most decorated object within each space. In these ads, it is difficult to discern between models and their surroundings; specifically when their clothing melds into the adjacent interior. While this seems like an innovative presentation design idea, this technique has historic roots in the templates of fashion journals. Another concept, Leisure and The Good Life, presents POLO Ralph Lauren advertisements arranging women in leisurely positions, reclining in front of highly stylized interior and exterior backdrops. This section analyzes notable women in art history that have been painted in varying degrees of this repose. The third area of exploration emphasizes POLO Ralph Lauren ads invoking "The Gaze" and integrating feminist theory. These ads are complex because they underscore eye contact, the notion of subject and object and female portraiture. Lastly, the segment on Sensuality & Desire presents POLO Ralph Lauren ads that make dress and space sensual. They are inspired by Hollywood heroines, costumes & sets while touching on women as sources of glamour and character transformation in highly designed interiors. The deconstruction and analysis of these complex ads reveal that POLO Ralph Lauren markets a contemporary language of American interior design while shaping America's consumer and design identities. The interiors are special because they emphasize the framework for selling the American Dream back to Americans. By carefully positioning interior design as the backdrop and partnership with POLO Ralph Lauren clothing, this pairing allows the company to further the Polo Ralph Lauren branded lifestyle. .

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