Coach vs. Kate Spade: A Tale of Two Ads

Oct 1, 2015

It's fall, and somewhere in the world people are beginning to feel a chill in the air. I get so excited for fall fashion! This might be my favorite clothing season - the scarves, the rich colors, the long sleeves! I can't wait to curl up with a pumpkin spice latte and watch the style change before my eyes.

While I was looking around for fall style inspiration, I was struck by the stark difference in advertising for two household-name fashion houses. Take a look below at the video campaigns of two brands primarily known for their bags: Coach vs Kate Spade. I think you'll know which one I prefer, and I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Exhibit A: "Coach Presents Fall 2015 | #CoachFall2015"
In a remarkably lackluster ad, the struggling Coach brand fails to excite any interest in their fall line. Which is too bad, because many of the pieces are beautiful. The cast, while diverse, makes no impression of difference between the characters, and I have no emotions at all about the clothing at all.

The location is beautiful but cold. It was shot in the "historic" Sailor's Snug Harbor of Staten Island, which I bet is a gorgeous place but just doesn't come through. In fact, all of the colors are rather drab. The video as a whole is also rather drab. The individual pieces are lovely, but I'm left with such a lack of feeling about them. I don't find myself moved to make any purchases.

In one word, the Coach 2015 campaign video is: Aloof.

Exhibit B: "kate spade new york fall 2015"
In this campaign video, we're presented with a colorful party of smiling people who move frequently. They talk over background noise. They gesture in ways that make me want to engage in the conversation. Even the walls are interesting.

The space feels warm and inviting. The colors are vibrant and well placed. The only thing I'm not crazy for is the menswear - the suits make me feel a bit Miranda Priestly ("Florals? For spring? Ground breaking."). But hey, I'm not buying the suits. The bags though? Bullseye. And most importantly, I can list three pieces I want to purchase immediately (printed pants, camel coat, patchwork bag).

In one word, the Kate Spade 2015 campaign video is: Inviting.

These ads are from the same year, the same season, and yet feature wildly different campaign strategies. Kate Spade makes you feel like you're at the party, Coach makes you feel like the cool people are having a party without you. The problem is, unlike high school, I don't want to go to the Coach party. I want to hang out with the Kate Spade peeps.

Winner: Kate Spade (by a landslide).

What do you think? Did I get it wrong? Leave a note below!

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