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Study Finds Women Increased Their Purchase Intentions by 300 Percent When They Saw Curvier Models

New research on the effect of models in advertisements was recently made public by Elle Magazine in Canada. Ben Barry, founder of the Ben Barry Agency explains how he decided to focus on this topic for his doctoral thesis.

Ben traveled across the United States and Canada where he surveyed and facilitated focus groups with women 14 to 65 and dress size 0 to 18 with various ethnicities being represented as well.

The findings go against almost everything brands and designers have been telling “us” at PLUS Model Magazine and are more along the lines of what we know to be true from our conversations and surveys of plus size women.

Women want to see a reflection of who they are, but a realistic and attainable version. Not a fantasy that is not even REAL! When PLUS Model Magazine released the editorial “Plus Size Bodies, What’s Is Wrong With Them Anyway?“, the response was viral and global. Why? Because it spoke to the core of what women have been saying for years but have fallen on deaf ears.

Ben writes “The general assumption that models are merely “clothes hangers” is rather pervasive in the multi-billion-dollar fashion industry, but they play a much more influential role: They are the bridge between the consumer and the brand. They not only demonstrate how clothes fit and flatter the human body but also convey a brand’s image and identity.”

Ben goes on to say, “Yet, in spite of this, companies seldom cast models who reflect their markets. The typical model is size 2, whereas the average woman is size 14.

These findings corroborate what every plus size woman knows to be true. It’s who we are and what we live and breathe. Many have criticized PLUS Model Magazine’s “in your face” attitude about diversity and plus size fashion but reading this is exactly why we need to put the focus on the women these brands and designers are selling to.

Ben also says, “My study found that women increased their purchase intentions by more than 200 percent when the models in the mock ads were their size. In the subgroup over size 6, women increased their purchase intentions by a dramatic 300 percent when they saw curvier models. Conversely, when women saw models who didn’t reflect their size, they decreased their purchase intentions by 60 percent, and women over size 6 dropped their purchase intentions by 76 percent.

This is absolutely true, we have been speaking with up and coming companies about the feedback we get on advertising ads and websites from plus size women. When they use a very small plus size model, the comments are not positive, there is no traffic and the women are not buying or even getting excited. When clients use a plus size model that is a size 14 and larger, especially a size 16 or 18 the numbers go through the roof.   What does this tell you?

I can only hope every brand and designer reads this article and has an aha! moment. If you want to sell, you have to market properly, it’s just that simple.

Read the entire article in Elle Canada here.

Read this month’s issue of PLUS Model Magazine here.

 

 

29 Comments

  1. Alicia Roberts

    May 14, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Study Finds Women Increased Their Purchase Intentions by 300 Percent When They …: Ben writes “The general assu… http://t.co/juuFYmgG

  2. PLUS Model Magazine

    May 15, 2012 at 1:15 am

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  3. Tracey Kathryn

    May 15, 2012 at 1:18 am

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  4. Daedra Evans

    May 15, 2012 at 1:18 am

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  5. ????Shanetta????

    May 15, 2012 at 1:18 am

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  6. Michelle Cuello

    May 15, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Study Finds Women Increased Their Purchase Intentions by 300 Percent When They Saw Curvier Models @benbarryagency http://t.co/aqSMKTb1

  7. Apple

    May 15, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Study show women would easily spend 300% more when seeing models above size 6 in ads. http://t.co/d6xvZgcj

  8. Ariluv

    May 15, 2012 at 1:33 am

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  9. Ms. Pink

    May 15, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Wow, this is seriously impressive..read about curvier models and purchasing instinct…amazing http://t.co/DmOkCB8l #women #fashion

  10. Walk the Catwalk

    May 15, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Ben Barry from Ben Barry Agency Inc starts off this week with a BANG!!! A MUST READ! @benbarryagency http://t.co/DZHnRp3C

  11. Kristina Bigby

    May 15, 2012 at 5:08 am

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  12. Kris

    May 15, 2012 at 5:35 am

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  13. Moniqque Moyana

    May 15, 2012 at 7:50 am

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  14. Ben Barry

    May 15, 2012 at 9:51 am

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  15. Peace Z

    May 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm

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  16. Jane Hubbard

    May 15, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Study Finds Women Increased Their Purchase Intentions by 300 Percent When They Saw Curvier Models @benbarryagency http://t.co/wPlJ5zSV

  17. WOMENKIND

    May 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm

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  18. Linda Landers

    May 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm

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  19. STEP // Group

    May 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm

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  20. ASIA MONE'T

    May 16, 2012 at 1:25 pm

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  21. Tiffany Sheena

    May 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm

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  22. Sheri Collins

    May 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm

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  23. On the Curve Events

    May 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm

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  24. Nickia Walker

    May 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm

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  25. Sew and Smile

    May 16, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Study Finds Women Increased Their Purchase Intentions by 300 Percent When They Saw Curvier Models @benbarryagency http://t.co/aqSMKTb1

  26. David Pitts {DP}

    May 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm

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  27. TheRunwayPlus

    May 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm

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  28. Marri Gattô

    May 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm

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  29. ? Dorthea ? Thomas

    May 20, 2012 at 8:09 am

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