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What’s a Big Campaign These Days? – A Look at The Gap

August 14, 2013

The Gap is getting ready for it’s biggest campaign in the “company’s modern history” and it’s worth taking a look at what constitutes a big campaign today by trying to parse out the pieces of their plan to see what they are doing, what and who they are using and why?

Here are the seven things that constitute the 2013 version of a big campaign as defined by The Gap.

1. Start with a “Big Idea”- The Gap has more than a merchandising theme to the campaign, there’s an idea-“Back to Blue” is about being comfortable in your own skin,. which ties back to the authenticity of the brand’s clothing.

2. Drive brand awareness with TV and traditional media- The Gap is proudly announcing its “return to TV” having been off air for a while, it’s clear that if you want to drive awareness and shift perception at scale, it’s the best way to do do it. The Gap also understand that other traditional media like OOH and print, still matter and are making them part of the campaign.

3. Work with an ecosystem of talent: The campaign has been shot by leading photographers Inez and Vinood, bloggers like FashGif are creating digital content for Tumblr, street artists are painting murals, the costume designer of HBO’s Girls is creating video content and 24 influential millennials – like Tanisha Long from MTV’s Girl Code and Urban Bush Babes blogger Cipriana Quann will create digital content.

4. Facilitate a conversation: You need social media to enable conversation and participation, so The Gap has a hashtag #BacktoBlue and is activating on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram

5. Do something new with media for your audience: The Gap is going big with Tumblr, by encouraging digital artists on the site to create content that will be turned into a mobile takeover for one day, a first for Tumblr.

6. Be interesting: Street art is clearly an area of interest to its audience, so The Gap is working with VICE to develop murals in key cities around the world and the brand is also developing relevant content that will appeal to their audiences interests in food, technology and fashion.

7. Create your own media: The Gap is bringing back Styld,by- which is its online version of “The Sartoralist” and is working with media partners to create relevant content in the categories of fashion, technology and food

While The Gap’s new campaign ticks all the right boxes, in the end, there are still many open questions that will determine the campaign’s success

1. Will the creative work be loved enough to be shared and can it be powerful enough to ignite conversation? Is the idea and the creative work going to be surprising and interesting enough, or too expected and predicable?

2. Is the digital work too separate from the traditional? Where and how will it crossover? Will consumers be allowed to play/remix/mix with the TV, print and OOH?

3. Where’s the music and what will its role be?

4. Is the campaign too focused on the lives on the elite few/ leading edge opinion leaders and not truly open to the masses that constitute The Gap’s customer base? Will the brand open up enough to allow interesting conversation and expression from the breadth of its consumers, or will it exercise too much control?

5. Finally and most importantly, will The Gap’s product capture enough attention and interest?

 


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