Brand: Gap Jeans (Gap)
Link: Click Here
Target: Lapsed Gap-ers
To the track “Do Ya” from Peaches, a series of attractive people dance in different jeans. Animated borders playfully intertwine with the dancers. The titles announce “Jeans Take Shape” followed by the different jean silhouettes featured in the spot, including The Pencil, The Mini, The Shirt, The Skinny, etc. The spot ends with the ‘Fall Into The Gap’ which is accented by the music.
Gap has been off air for a year, during which time they have obviously done some soul searching creatively. This spot is equal parts classic Gap and Apple imitator, borrowing handily both from a genre Gap created and one that has blossomed while Gap withered. The combination is effective, much more so than any of the last several efforts by the retailer. Here’s what works in this spot:
- Visual Impact: Gap created the dance spot with its iconic ‘Gap Khaki Swings‘ spot, so it is only appropriate that they return to the form borrowing some innovation from the solo dance trend used so successfully in recent Apple iPod spots. Bi-coastal design studio Shilo successfully weaves abstract animations reminiscent of pen and ink drawings through the morphing images of dancers wearing different types of Gap Denim. The effect is novel and arresting.
- Branding: By using a style of commercial so closely identified with Gap and quickly focusing on fashion, this spot becomes ownably Gap within seconds. Very few former Gap customers will forget that they are watching a Gap spot.
- Product Focus: Gap’s main challenge these days is to regain relevance in a fashion world that has largely passed them by (more on this below). A good way to do that is to remind people what you do well. Gap became famous for offering stylish basics at an affordable price. By highlighting the classic denim silhouettes they remind us that these are, after all, simple things and Gap might be a better place to buy them than a department store or designer shop. Gap is nothing when it misses the heart of a fashion trend, so the success of this spot will be tied largely to whether Gap has accurately taken the pulse of the consumer.
- Familiar Tagline: The not-so-subtle tug of nostalgia we feel when Gap resurrects the “Fall Into the Gap” is a good idea for the struggling retailer. Reminding us of the relationship we had with the brand when we were younger will not hurt Gap as long as their styles and prices remain relevant.
Advertising cannot save a company from a strategic positioning mistake and in some sense that is what Gap is asking of Laird+Partners and Shilo in this spot.Â Gap’s real problem is that its parent owns Banana Republic which has peeled off the Pottery Barn crowd and Old Navy which has a Target-like appeal to fashionable value shoppers.Â What’s left is not enough to sustain a vibrant business.
Gap really needs to focus on refreshing the value proposition and understanding why any twentysomething should go to Gap before any other store.Â As often happens, acquisitions made in the name of corporate synergy have hurt the Gap by diluting its brand strategy and taking the edge off of its once-potent marketing.Â To meet the promise of this appealing commercial, Gap will have to rethink retail.
Branding Bottom Line:
Gap has got us so excited about denim that we’ll definitely pick up a new pair of skinny jeans next time we’re at Old Navy.