Reaching new audiences online as Coach Inc. began its shift from the number-two accessories brand to a global lifestyle firm was the premise behind its holiday social campaign.

“Before social media, as brands we built meaningful relationships one at a time. And now, as brands using social media, we build a thousand at a time. A question I really think about: Does it really work?” said David Duplantis, executive vice president, global digital media & customer engagement at Coach.

This story first appeared in the February 14, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

According to Duplantis, the goal of the holiday campaign was to “reinforce us, our fashion credibility, while attracting a new audience [by leveraging the] social platform of four key influencers as a conduit to our own [site].”

The case study he presented featured four influencers who collaborated with Coach to develop content for, which included their curated picks on the Coach site. The influencers were stylist Rachel Zoe, swag-pop duo Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan of Karmin, Nina Garcia and makeup artist Michelle Phan.


The campaigns ran over a four-week period, and began the week before Thanksgiving, with Zoe kicking off the campaign. According to Duplantis, the exposure from the social campaign — more than 10 million impressions and downloads — grew all channels.

The Karmin video, which featured styling by Zoe, generated “millions of social impressions through tweets and retweets and other social platforms,” Duplantis said. There was a separate music video of the duo’s rendition of “Sleigh Ride” that could be downloaded exclusively at

While Garcia’s video was the least viral, it “reached an incredibly qualified audience. Those people came in to This was actually the highest conversion shot,” Duplantis said.

Phan’s video, showed her organizing a Coach satchel with leather Coach cases, such as a wallet and makeup bag. According to Duplantis, that video had the “highest engagement — 1.2 million views. Pretty insane actually. We grew our YouTube subscriber base in the month of December seven times based on this video.”

Does social media work?

Duplantis said yes when one blends magic and logic — the magic of social media with the logic of marketing efficiencies.

He said that the company required registration where it could, then tagged the path of engagement and, once that was done, worked on future engagement and, once that was done, worked on future engagement and used a targeted message to drive conversion.

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