NEW YORK: In a departure from previous campaigns, Coach is promoting not only the launch of a new handbag and accessory line, but also the marketing behind it. The announcement of the Poppy line, set to hit shelves June 26, was accompanied by a press release detailing the campaign's “emphasis on interactive branding and consumer engagements.”
“I just think we're broadening what were doing. As we do that, it requires engaging more people," said Raina Penchansky, VP of Global PR at Coach, regarding promotion of the strategy. “What you're seeing from us is a natural evolution in our PR strategy.”
Poppy, a more affordable line of accessories with bags that range from $198 to $598, aims to reach a younger consumer through a “PR-heavy,” non-traditional marketing strategy, explained Penchansky. Though the bags will be available globally, the in-house team will focus its marketing efforts in the US and Japan, she said.
One analyst noted the company's success of generating pre-launch buzz, and called it "smart marketing (bus ads, blogging, press interviews highlighting the Poppy strategy..."
The digital campaign, launching with the product on June 26, includes a blogger event series – through July; four selected blogs will host in-store promotional events for their readers – and a microsite with downloads and interactive features.
An “Are You a Poppy Girl?” initiative on social media network Brickfish, set to launch July 1, will task users to dress their “ideal Poppy girl” in virtual products and create a “Poppy-perfect,” sharable scrapbook page.
It will also promote the campaign on Coach's Facebook page and on Twitter.
In Japan, Coach will introduce Poppy-chan, a virtual character concept inspired by Japanese pop/comic culture. Seven virtual Poppy-chan characters will live in “Poppy Town” on a mobile Coach Web site, and be featured on limited edition Poppy products.
“Poppy lends itself, because its' a more playful collection for us, to a world of social media and blogging,” said Penchansky.
She noted that the team began conducting consumer and blogger media relations about two weeks ago.
“It's safe to say we'll be exploring these types of activities for other collections going forward.”