Execution: Online Interactive
Link: Click Here
Target: Voyeuristic Middle Americans
This viral campaign for GAP features an interactive changing room. You pick a person, design them down to the eyebrows and then pick an outfit for them to change into. Finally, your character strips from streetclothes down to undies, outrageously dancing to music all of the time, and then models the new outfit.
If the best measure of publicity is attention, GAP has a smashing success with www.watchmechange.com. For little more than the cost of production and a few phone calls, GAP has the makings of another Subservient Chicken on its hands. (And no wonder with the same agency – Crispin, Porter + Bogusky – masterminding this campaign.)
Beyond the buzz, the shockwave interactive spot is impressive, too. It let’s the user build themselves, the person they’d like to be or just someone they want to watch. Then you basically get to see this person making a fool of themselves while changing. The dancing is genuinely funny and you will laugh – particularly if you have been brave enough to design yourself. So the spot is memorable.
It’s difficult to be the buzz kill with such a clever viral campaign, but our mission in life is to ask the question: does it build the brand? Let’s start by asking – what is GAP? After some soul searching through the past few years the answer seems to be (and we’re not guessing here – it’s on the corporate mission statement) “Fresh, Casual American Style”. This is the heart of GAP, which is trying to become an American icon in the same way that Coca-Cola, Chevy or McDonald’s have. In truth, GAP is already something of an American icon, having brought us back to our clean cut roots with Swing dancing and khaki pants. They may have been as responsible as any one company for turning casual Fridays into casual all the time at many companies.
This is all by way of saying that GAP has a mainstream audience and promotes mainstream values. So the first question we have to ask is – does this campaign build or detract from the values that GAP holds so essential to its brand? The answer is that this campaign seems completely unrelated to these values. We won’t go so far as to say that seeing men and women shimmying in their skivvies classifies as a major break with traditional values. Rather it is the entire attitude of the spot that seems very different and disconnected from the GAP style that we have come to know. It doesn’t argue with our notions of what GAP is, but it also does not reinforce them.
GAP at its best is a safety net for fashion-challenged adults. GAP is an updated Garanimals for everyone. It allows us to be a little bolder, brighter and fresher than we might be otherwise. This spot does a good job of showing just what we’re trying to recover from – our lovable but nerdy selves. It also does not help us with clothing beyond the novelty effect. Is it possible that we might want some suggestions for coordinating outfits? Yes, but no luck here. Would I like to click on an outfit I’d like and have it priced out and placed into an electronic shopping cart? Absolutely, but to preserve the purity of the fun, that isn’t possible here. Would I like a wider range of clothing and a chance to see if things might go with different shoes – you betcha – but again no luck.
The branding is also too subtle. We know it’s GAP – having a logo in the corner (that might – say – lead to GAP Online) really won’t bother us too much.
Branding Bottom Line:
Nice execution. Now please mind the GAP.