By ALI CUDBY
The other day I was watching TV and an ad jumped off the screen at me. It’s not a new ad, but the message is directly tied to something I’ve been talking a lot about recently. The ad was for Special K® but wasn’t actually about cereal. It was about jeans.
Well, not exactly about jeans. Let me explain…
As many lingerie professionals know, jeans, bras and swim suits are the trifecta of clothing items many women dread shopping for most. These women listen to the myths about fit, which send women negative messages about finding bras (and jeans and swim suits) that are the “right size.” These three items also force women to confront the aspects of their bodies they often want to ignore.
As lingerie pros, we see women consistently placing significant – and misguided – value on the size of the item needed to fit their body.
That’s the brilliance of the Special K® “More Than A Number” ad. The commercial shows women shopping for jeans, but instead of sizes being represented by numbers, women are fitted into jeans that are sized by positive, non-numerical attributes like “radiant” and “strong.”
The ad makes a brilliant and simple point – women ascribe power to the numbers (and letters) that make up a size. Then, all too often, women allow that size to affect how they feel about their bodies.
Size is fluid. There are significant differences in how a bra fits from brand to brand, and even within a brand, from bra to bra. That’s why I think the whole “70-85% of women are wearing the wrong size bra” is a problematic statistic. It’s based on a faulty premise, AND it sends a negative message to women about their ability to do something as fundamental as clothe themselves. (It’s part of the reason I pulled my book Busted! from the shelves.)
Lingerie retailers – and everyone in the industry – can benefit from the message behind this Special K® ad. We have the opportunity to empower our customers beyond the fit of their bras and undergarments.
When we connect with women at that level, it goes beyond making a sale – it creates an emotional connection between our customers and our businesses.