Narrative continues to creep its way into the fashion industry’s advertising, and nowhere more is that true than with Kate Spade New York.
In a continuation of its #missadventure campaign series, the brand this time tells the tale of three women (actress Zosia Mamet returns alongside Lola Kirke and Kat Dennings) who go on the perfect weekend away, only to have their plans go “comically, perfectly wrong”.
Hoping for a spa package and yoga instructor, they end up with a retirement cake and bundle of bride-to-be accessories.
Those items as well as a bouncy castle are the product of Mamet’s attempts to use a new app called Favor Faves to order everything en route to the house they’re staying in, which is where such narrative wins it’s first points: it’s real. We’re all (and by all, we mean Kate Spade’s target market) obsessed with new apps and the idea that they make us more efficient.
We’re all also obsessed by things coming to us, on-demand. Especially if you live in New York, as well as an increasing number of other major cities (thanks Seamless, Uber, Deliveroo, Shyp, Postmates etc etc). But… we’ve all often had scenarios where such ideas have also failed us, especially when travelling. Perhaps they haven’t resulted in such extremes (the #missadventure series likes to add a touch of the surreal), but you get the idea.
The second way that Kate Spade wins, is that this short film feels as though you’re watching a scene from a TV show or a movie, not an ad. It’s not even a trailer – not a hint of something you need to go and watch the full-length version of, but instead something that you’ve rather missed the rest of. In a cameo role, Marisa Tomei shows up in her pyjamas for goodness’ sake.
As Kate Spade’s SVP of brand creative, Kristen Naiman, tells Vanity Fair, when the #missadventure series first started it was aiming to take advantage of the fact there was a renaissance in scripted serialised content being seen. “By the end of the first four episodes, we had set a world in motion. We saw on our social media channels an incredible appetite for it as a ‘show,’ as entertainment. There was a transition from ‘what a cute bag’ to ‘when is this going to be a movie?’” she explains.
And yet, in addition to that, Kate Spade also manages to throw a load of its product in there too. Those pyjamas in this recent film are really great, as is the hat Tomei wears with them. That box of bridal gear is perfect for those indeed planning bachelorette / hen parties (of which undoubtedly Kate Spade does very well from). And let’s not forget that each of the actresses are dressed in numerous covetable items throughout themselves – apparel, shoes and accessories – ready to be shopped now.
It’s true marketing, yet it feels like entertainment. Bearing all that in mind, it comes as no surprise this ad has nearly one million views just a week after launch.
Meanwhile, Burberry has recently opted for a more “traditional” take on narrative – sharing the tale of a young couple without spoken word. The short film by Oscar-winning British director Steve McQueen, captures duo Joshua Whitehouse and Amber Anderson on a romantic/dirty weekend in London for the brand’s new Mr Burberry fragrance. While it’s nicely done, it’s been met with criticism from some, and can certainly be considered not as engaging as the above. Watch it here:
One worth checking out by comparison is Hill & Friends’ The Happy Factory, first unveiled during London Fashion Week in February. While also not using any spoken word, it’s a rather more captivating 10-minute tale where a combination of live action, animation and CGI follows a bellboy and a variety of woodland animals in a subterranean Hill & Friends office. You can also watch it here: