Good Campaigns & Bad Ads

Have you seen any of these? If yes, did you have a similar reaction?

Fall is the most profitable season in retail. If you subscribe to any fashion magazines, you know that the September issue is massive. The publications try to amp you up by writing “749 Pages!” on their covers. (Which is painfully difficult to fit into your carry-on.)

One of the things I enjoy about these heavy issues is checking out the new ad campaigns.

Below are some examples: smart ones, blah ones, ads that evoke a feeling or make you think differently of the brand.

Topshop: These are fun! The background is so colorful and chaotic (graffiti), but the outfits blend in and stand out at the same time. There’s also a lot of texture in the clothes here and you can actually see that.

Topshop's ad campaign


topshop ad campaign

Kate Spade: I once had a client tell me, “I like Kate Spade [clothes] but sometimes there’s just too much bow!” That’s one of the reasons I like this ad; it doesn’t shy away from their preppy/quirky vibe. Yes, there is a bow stitched into that giant purple bag and yes, she’s wearing matching leopard. Those gold lip sunglasses? It shows how to pair a sense of humor with your work wardrobe.

Kate Spade ad campaign

Macy’s Home: Macy’s took a giant step forward with their apt living mailer. Instead of the usual flimsy coupon-like booklet at your doorstep (with a bland picture of a discounted sofa inside) this look book has a West Elm-ish feeling. Rooms were styled, home decorating tips given, heavier paper stock used.

Macy's home ad campaign

Kmart: They have taken a classic item (white shirt) and tried to appeal to two demographics: conservative and trend conscious (even though the animal print leggings are a bit late to the game). I hope it brings in traffic for them—given they originated in MI.

Kmart ad campaign

Tommy Hilfiger: Ah yes, we’ve watched this clan’s ‘life’ throughout the seasons—holidays, vacations, tailgating , etc. I can’t believe that little snob is off to college already, ha! The brand went a step further this fall, by naming the models and tying in product at once. Do I think people will take the time to read through all of this? No. But I do like how they incorporate a range of age demographics. (“Oh! I can buy Tommy Hilfiger for my dad AND my brother!”—someone might say.)

Tommy Hilfiger ad campaign fall 2013

Tommy Hilfiger ad campaign

Louis Vuitton: Michelle Williams looks striking in all of their campaigns this season. This one cleanly and clearly shows three of their products: coat, slip dress and handbag.

Michelle Williams Louis Vuitton ad campaign

Fendi: A ton of attitude is portrayed here. Those seeking that same feeling will identify with this two-pager. I also love an Italian cityscape.

Fendi ad campaign 2013Speaking of representing an attitude, what is going on in the Bebe campaigns? I get that you probably want to be out all night partying if you’re in a body-con Bebe dress, but this doesn’t even seem provocative or sassy, it just seems, ‘ick.’ The whole ‘break the rules’ slogan is tacky, not clever. It reminds me more of that always sloppy drunk girl.


Conversely, ‘Have fun without the commitment’ is a smart play on words for the Rent the Runway catalog. (Get it, because you don’t buy their merchandise?)

rent the runway holiday 2013 catalog

GUESS: These legs look spider-long! You are selling women’s clothing to women, right? If she’s in her underwear, fine—could she maybe sit side saddled? We would still get the sass/pouty lip atmosphere.


Am I sounding prude? That isn’t my intention!

CHANEL: What? (Knitting in space? Ok…but why wear the same clothes?)


Brooks Brothers: Ooh, it looks like this clique is from the rival school of the kids at Tommy Hilfiger. Like an old school Highlights book, can you find what is ‘off’ here? Yep, the red unicycle seat awkwardly protruding out of this boy’s flying pig pants. Why didn’t anyone catch that? Or is it an internal company joke? 🙂





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