Coach Invests in New Campaign to Help Revive Ailing Brand

Ads Feature Bohemian Style, Floral Prints From New Luxury Line

By Published on .

Coach debuts spring campaign.
Coach debuts spring campaign. Credit: Coach

After a few rocky sales seasons, Coach is hoping to finally hit its stride this year. The brand, which started as a handbag maker 75 years ago but has been reinventing itself as a full lifestyle label, is introducing a new ad campaign to highlight Coach 1941. The new luxury line includes handbags, apparel and footwear. The push includes a 30-second spot which will begin airing in stores on Monday, ahead of the collection's February sales debut. Print ads will roll out in February and March fashion magazines and be supported by global billboards and social media.

Campaign imagery depicts men and women dressed in bohemian, prairie-like styles, such as floral prints, string bowties and flowing skirts, with a few edgy touches like leather motorcycle vests. An English bulldog puppy is also featured in some shots.

"Coach 1941 really remixes aspirational heritage with a downtown attitude modernizing and reinventing luxury and authenticity for a new generation," explained David Duplantis, president of global marketing and digital and customer experience at Manhattan-based Coach. He noted that the campaign was inspired by Coach's September New York Fashion Week runway show -- the brand's first -- which included a temporary glass pavilion set against the backdrop of the Big Apple. Many looks prominently display Coach's saddle bag, which is meant to appeal to both male and female customers.

Advertising Age Player

Coach worked with its creative agency of record, Baron & Baron, on the spring campaign.

Mr. Duplantis declined to disclose Coach's budget on the spring campaign, though he did say it is at least on par with last year's effort. The company spent $246.8 million on advertising, marketing and design costs in fiscal 2015, compared with $242.3 million in fiscal 2014, according to financial reports.

Coach, which operates about 1,000 of its own stores, has endured its share of missteps, as the brand lost value from too much time at the bargain table in off-price outlets. In recent years, the company has appointed a new CEO and creative director in the hopes of turning the business around. For the most recent available quarter, Coach surpassed analyst expectations -- yet still reported a decline of 1% in net sales to $1.03 billion, and a 19% drop in net income to $96.4 million compared to the year-earlier period. The company is also reportedly looking to sell its anchor stake in the much-heralded Hudson Yards Manhattan mega-project. Its stock lost about 17% of its value in 2015 and now trades near $32.

Luxury labels Gucci and Valentino have also recently debuted spring campaigns. The former has recieved acclaim for its quirky spreads -- in one, a model skateboards with a peacock. Valentino, on the other hand, has met with criticism for shooting white models in a Kenyan village.

Most Popular