Men’s abdominal muscles remain one of the most powerful ways to market to Aussie blokes despite other overseas brands starting to ditch the clichéd and tired concept.
For a decade or more chiselled abs have been one of the prime ways to flog blokes anything from fragrances, health magazines, cat food and European cars.
However, American youth fashion brand Abercrombie & Finch has decided that taught stomachs pedalled by the likes of Beckham, Gosling and, more recently, Justin Beiber are no longer the marketing weapon they once were.
By 2014, company CEO, Mike Jeffries, still believed in the marketing pull of a “six pack”; however, plummeting sales of the brand told another story and Jeffries was swiftly removed from his post and all Abercrombie & Finch models ordered to cover their stomachs ever since.
Arguably the greatest agitator for the “abs = sales” mantra has been Men’s Health magazine, and its Australian editor, Luke Benedictus, says a concrete tummy still remains one of the best tools when marketing stuff to men.
“The Abercrombie & Finch campaign is the exception rather than the rule,” Benedictus told B&T.
“Particularly when it comes to the grooming category – brands like Tom Ford, Calvin Klein still capitalise on the selling power of the male physical form.”
Benedictus argues fashionable ‘AB’ males – readers of his magazine, reportedly – are typically more “body conscious” and more “image focused” than the average “Joe Blow” on the street. He adds his magazine cover images – that typically feature a rippling set of stomach sinew – remain his top sellers and argues – quite rightly, too – that our fascination with men’s abs is hardly anything new.
“When Michelangelo sculpted ‘David’ he didn’t create some jowly bloke with a beer-gut, did he?” Benedictus argues.
“Men’s Health runs a mix of cover stars – both shirtless and clothed – and our best-sellers still tend to include more of the former category. That just proves that these images still resonate,” he said.