Harry Styles Declared Figurehead For New Advertising, Louis Tomlinson Insult Sparks Backlash

One Direction by Christopher Polk

A fashion website has declared Harry Styles the principal figure at the center of a reshuffle in the advertising and product promotion industry, and fans have spoken out in defense of Louis Tomlinson after the star was disrespected by a member of a music act he had praised on Twitter.

The Fashion Law reported that advertising is changing as businesses scramble to catch the attention of the young millennial cohort, and in the future we may be seeing fewer print ads and posters and more promotional match-ups like the one between Harry Styles and Gucci.

When Styles stepped out in 2015 wearing a variety of Gucci suits he provided some of the best promo money could buy. While nobody knows if Gucci actually handed Harry some cash to wear their designs, Harry Styles definitely put the luxury brand’s name in headlines around the world. Even the New Statesman ran a piece praising Harry and his Gucci looks.

“Harry Styles punctures [the] acceptable modes of masculinity, a breath of fresh air in a sea of boring male fashion choices… A boutique Overton window, Styles moves the mainstream of acceptable men’s fashion choices away from the centre, validating other young men and women who dress outside the gender binary. So, whether you love or hate the outrageous floral bell-bottoms, celebrate the fact they were worn at all. And, most of all, in a world full of bland suits and identikit haircuts, thank God for Harry Styles.”

It sounds like advertising gurus are taking note, as they try to grab and keep the attention of young consumers who have grown up using apps, tablets and digital technology, and who are less susceptible to print magazine campaigns and other traditional modes of brand promotion.

Harvard Business Review stated earlier this year that “for brands to seduce the millennial consumer, they’ll need to differentiate themselves from the traditional advertising methods [that] millennials typically ignore.”

“[A]dvertising is becoming more integrated into the content itself. Hence, the rise of native advertising, product placements, social media ads, and the like, instead.”

Celebrities, whose lives and clothes are examined by devotees on social media in real time and sometimes with near-obsessive interest, will become more important as advertising models evolve.

Just think of the massive press Gucci received when One Direction fans and Harry-watchers created viral memes comparing Harry Styles’ suit to a shower curtain or IKEA couch cover — yes, the memes were created in a cheeky spirit, but you can bet Gucci would not have been complaining about all the free press.

“As brands are forced to consistently evolve in terms of how they are reaching both existing and potential new consumers in terms of actual ad formats, celebrities (whether they are bona fide movie stars, musicians, or just influential bloggers or editors) are almost always in fashion for advertising purposes. They bring with them massive followings, which serve as attractive sources of press, revenue, and growth for brands.”

The Fashion Law reported that while it is possible that Harry may have signed a deal with Gucci, it is unlikely given the number of competing designers Styles wore at the time he was on his Gucci run — Harry’s love affair with Gucci was as non-exclusive as his tryst with supermodel Kendall Jenner.

That doesn’t mean a paid deal is not in the works. The publication speculates that in the future we could see the sexy One Direction star follow in the footsteps of Jared Leto and Evan Rachel Wood and pose for one of Gucci’s fragrance campaigns.

“However, as we learned this weekend, actor/musician Jared Leto has landed Gucci’s Guilty fragrance campaign, replacing actors Chris Evans and Evan Rachel Wood. This seems like something Styles could be positioning himself for in the coming seasons. Thoughts?”

In other One Direction news, fans have leaped to the defense of Louis Tomlinson after a music act Tomlinson had praised failed to return Louis’ respect and appreciation.

The culprit was Charlotte Brimner of Be Charlotte, who received some free press when Louis Tomlinson tweeted about the group and praised their “cool vibe,” according to The Courier.

Fans of Louis became furious when they observed that Charlotte had liked a tweet joking about Tomlinson’s singing ability. #RespectLouis began trending as fans demanded that Brimner show more respect. Louis-lovers also flooded Twitter with clips demonstrating that Louis can, in fact, sing very well.

[Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for iHeartMedia]