The trend of using elder models for advertisements started one or two years ago. Older models are used by fashion designers and companies selling beauty products, which is the case of this MAC ad featuring Iris Apfel who was born in 1921. The sudden change of the way companies are presenting their products could have been caused by the fact that the pictures of young women who are photoshopped to the point of flawlessness became boring and are not selling products that well anymore.
Casting an elder woman is in my opinion a breath of fresh air. Although I do acknowledge that some people might think that these ads were created just for the shock value (and they probably were), because it made people to talk and analyse the pictures, which meant the ads got spread even more, not only on the pages of women´s magazines. Maybe I was fooled by the well staged campaigns, but when looking at the pictures where elder models are used (for example Joan Didion for Céline, three elder ladies for Dolce & Gabbana). I can feel that there is some story and wisdom these women could pass to me. I perceive the young perfect models that are usually used as something artificial and maybe even anonymous, as some imagination of perfection that is not real. I do not have a connection to them and I do not feel the warmth and kindness emanating from them. On the other hand I do have these feelings when looking at the ads with elder models. I suspect that this kind of ad is touching for me because it somehow recalls my memories of grandparents.
I also think that companies are sending us a message by using elder models. It is a message of the tradition and stability of their brand, because elder people usually have their "own" brands they are using. They have enough experience to choose what is best for them and have enough credibility to pass this experience, this tip, to us, the younger generation, via advertisement.
What do you think about using elder models in fashion and beauty campaigns?
PS: I cannot wait to see this documentary: