Have You Been Naughty or Nice?

With nearly 1.2 million views, the ‘Holiday Film by Coach’, what you and I would call a commercial, is a hit. At least a viral hit.

I love and hate this ad.


Why I Hate this Ad

This one is easy. It represents all that is wrong with Christmas. Now I realize that not everyone shares my views on morality and faith, but the behavior of the young lady is clearly over the top. She expects to get a Coach purse, uh, sorry ladies, Handbag. It doesn’t matter that she’s been naughty this year. She wants a Coach Handbag. She expects a Coach Handbag. She’s going to have a Coach Handbag, even if she has to assault Santa to get it!

There’s something unseemly about the disconnect between behavior and reward. It goes back to one of my core beliefs that we have to earn what we get. No one owes us anything. There is no FAIR in life. If anything, it’s fair to go unrewarded for being naughty all year. Besides, who gets a fancy purse for knocking out Santa? It feels a little thuggish to me.

Why I Love this Ad

This is one of the most creative ads I’ve seen in a long time. It’s easy to pull at the heart strings with puppies or horses, but it’s tough to make a really creative spin on a classic idea. Coach creative director, Stuart Vevers, hit this one out of the park. I was slightly disturbed by the young lady’s behavior until she changed her naughty designation to nice. That’s the part that really sealed the deal for me.

Yes, it’s irreverent. Yes, it’s over the top commercialism. It’s awesome, right?

Look, we’re a society bent on spending our children’s inheritance on stuff. Nothing that you or I feel about that is going to change the world. And in a culture where making money is highly prized, this spot is going to sell purses. It’s that very culture that created this ad. Okay, okay, it’s the very industry where I work.

This ad is a branding play, pure and simple. And I’d say it’s a brilliant play at that. Coach is looking to appeal to Millennials and Gen Xers who need to up their fashion score. This ad says I need a Coach Handbag because I’m a chic, fashionable person with places to be and people to impress.

For it’s pure creativity, this ad impressed me. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Originally published on: Nov 25, 2015

Photo Courtesy of Daily Herald and Scott Hardesty/ Chicago Zoological Society