Retro revival: How Coach found the sweet spot between affection and action by experimenting with YouTube ads
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Retro revival: How Coach found the sweet spot between affection and action by experimenting with YouTube adsJuly 2022
Luxury retailer Coach has spent the last few years rebranding itself digitally while remaining true to its roots. With its pivotal holiday campaign around the corner, Coach was keen to explore the impact of brand storytelling and nostalgia.
Watch as Sandeep Seth, Coach's Global CMO and NA President, and Jeff Miner, Google Creative Works’ Global Business Lead, share how the brand used creative marketing experiments to develop a nostalgic, brand-building strategy and achieve a 7.8X return on ad spend.
Sandeep: Our target audience is very much on YouTube. So, when you're talking about reach amongst the target audience, that works as the best video platform for us. But, more than that, the ability to really customize these videos and do things within them that can drive the right amount of engagement. So, again, it was a very good match between the storytelling that we wanted to do, and the platform's ability to drive that for us.
Sandeep: One of the things that we always believe that connects very well with our target audience is the emotion of nostalgia. We wanted to build a campaign that is truly nostalgic, and really brings back the core heritage of the brand to life. Our first experiment with YouTube was adding CTAs at the end of each of the spots.
Jeff: The thing about the CTAs, this unsung hero, Coach had really not moved brand equity on YouTube. They've attempted to move it several times since 2019, and this was the first time that their investment paid off. That CTA actually got it over the top and helped people connect to the brand. We saw best in class lift on brand favorability, but we also saw 15% lift in searches for Coach. It's not enough for us to feel affection for the brand. We need to start actually searching for it. And, using that CTA really helped us do that.
Jeff: If you're experimenting the piece that you always want to do when utilizing it is making sure that everything is the same, other than the one variable looking to test it. We don't want to test everything. We want to test the most important thing and really dig into that. And then, you can really expand out from there.
Sandeep: The next step was quite obvious from here. You know we started looking at how do we continue this storytelling. How do we engage different target audiences? The experimentation became about bringing in different casting, different characters, different storytelling, and different lens.
Jeff: By bringing in more voices, more diversity, more inclusivity, we went from mirroring our audience to actually broadening it. We had this full spectrum of creative that really was trying to do something different and allowed each asset to really find an audience once we launched it. That's where it becomes really exciting from my perspective, because experimentation becomes less of a tactic and really more of a long term business tool.
Sandeep: Once again, we saw really strong results coming out of the second wave of the campaign we did. We saw very, very strong favorability towards the brand. Very high consideration uplift that we saw. All in all, going towards driving very strong engagement with the target audience.
Sandeep: What came after that was really the most important season for Coach, holidays. For us, holiday campaign is very important and probably one of those pivotal moments to build the brand beyond just sell the product. What we also did was really took all the learnings from the past two campaigns and said, "How do we add that to this campaign?"
Jeff: They came to the table with a plethora of assets that pulled in the nostalgia again. But, there was also these really product-focused ads that really felt like the ad was basically the CTA.
Sandeep: You know the holiday campaign was, I would say, extremely successful for us. We saw such positive comments from everyone. People who were close to the brand were writing to us, actually, directly talking about how it brought back nostalgia and truly brought to life what the brand does.
Jeff: A key thing of, when we mention, when we talk about experimentation, is that we're not doing focus groups here. This is real in-market media, on the platform, going out to real consumers. Our team saying for years has been experimentation is the best practice. That's truly how we operate. I think it takes brand's willingness to learn something, and having the courage to put something out in market and see how people respond.
Sandeep: Many times you hear from brands that experiments are hard, time consuming, takes a lot of money and effort. I didn't find that at all. Experimenting on YouTube has really helped us find out what works for our audience on YouTube and not just keep doing what everyone else is doing.
“Experimenting on YouTube has really helped us find out what works for our audience, and not just keep doing what everyone else is doing.”
Sandeep Seth, Coach’s Global CMO and NA President
“A key thing when we talk about experimentation is that we’re not doing focus groups here. This is real in-market media on the platform going out to real consumers.”
Jeff Miner, Google Creative Works’ Global Business Lead
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