Gap (NYSE: GPS) is looking to up its hip-quotient with a new brand campaign featuring young artists including musicians, singers, actors and photographers.
The brand's spring campaign, "Lived-In," is the product of new creative director Rebekka Bay. Gap has a long history of featuring young performing artists and celebrities, but the new campaign will incorporate new multimedia components.
Gap, an iconic denim brand in its heyday, has had a hard time capturing consumers' attention in recent years. The new campaign is a departure from the flashier, celeb-oriented ads the brand has designed in seasons past. This time around, the ads look and feel more casual and authentic, like the artists are wearing their own everyday clothing.
The 45-year old retailer has also partnered with Vogue to promote the campaign in a new way. The March issue features the first-ever tactile fabric ad which includes a logo made from the cotton of a worn-in Gap t-shirt. The Lived-In print ad campaign will also appear in March issues of national magazines, outdoor in cultural hubs of key markets and across Gap's social media channels.
Between the rise of other fast-fashion retailers such as Zara and H&M, and a struggling economy where consumers no longer want to splurge on basic denim wear, Gap has seen business stall. On Feb. 6, Gap reported its comparable-store sales for the month grew by only 1 percent on a year-over-year basis. That's down notably from the January 2013 figure, which was up 8 percent. In terms of net sales, Gap's figure was $899 million for January 2014, down from $1.13 billion a year earlier.
Bay has made it clear she is up for the challenge of staging a comeback for Gap, starting with this new campaign which emphasizes casual, yet cool, clothing.
"I just want to take it back, really," Bay told Fashionista. "I think Gap has always been the greatest iconic American casualwear brand, and that's really what I want it to be. I want to own super casual, iconic pieces and be the go-to brand for the wardrobe — almost like building blocks."
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