Kate Spade New York Gives The Banner A Purpose With This Shoppable Video Ad

The fashion brand puts Google Lightbox and HTML5 to novel use for a shoppable ad.

Finding someone who will admit to liking banner ads would be the consumer equivalent to catching a unicorn in the wild. For years brands have been experimenting with different ways to make these square and rectangular web intrusions more palatable and, perhaps, downright engaging.


One strategy is to use them to deliver web videos, movie trailers, or spots that millions of people already actively seek out and pass around across social media. Meanwhile, making shoppable content–videos that allow consumers to buy a featured product without several more clicks to another site–has been a hot topic over the last year. Kate Spade New York has combined the two ideas with its new shoppable web video ad, the first of its kind created with Google Lightbox and HTML5.

Kate Spade Chief Marketing Officer Mary Beech says the idea came about when the brand, along with agency Swell NY, knew they wanted to make a shoppable web video but were looking for ways to make it work beyond the brand’s own website. “We saw the Lightbox technology and HTML5 as a way to provide consistency across a paid media with what we were doing on our own website,” she says.

The brand had already seen solid consumer engagement with its digital efforts on Instagram, through its YouTube channel and the brand blog, among others, so Beech says this seemed like a natural progression.

“We really took the same creative approach, putting together a story we felt embodied the Kate Spade voice and our brand this holiday,” she says. “We didn’t alter it because we were adding the shoppable element, what we really liked is that the technology provided an immediate, seamless, shoppable element that enhanced the experience, rather than pulling you out of it.”

Beech says the results over the shoppable video’s first week have been great. But while we should consider it a sign of things to come, the brand is conscious of not over doing it. “We like the simplicity of it for the customers and we’re seeing positive metrics that make us very happy,” she says. “We’re always looking at that mix where we can take content to commerce but also knowing when content should just be on its own. It’s about the balance.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.