Gap and Janelle Monáe bring people together in diversity-minded holiday campaign
- Gap is extending its "Meet Me in the Gap" marketing campaign for the holidays with a new video starring actress and Grammy-nominated musician Janelle Monáe, a press release said. Meet Me in the Gap first rolled out in September with a collaboration between Cher and Future, who performed a rendition of Sly and the Family Stone's "Everyday People."
- The latest video has Monáe, along with six choirs and a collaborative cast of people from different backgrounds, performing Freddie Scott's version of "(You) Got What I Need." It was directed by Paul Hunter and is paired with a series of short videos and print elements showing a mix of families, models and influencers coming together, representing the unifying theme of the campaign.
- Meet Me in the Gap's holiday push goes into full force on Nov. 6 with TV spots, mobile, social media, in-store and digital components. The TV spots, airing on major networks, will also be incorporated into digital takeovers of ABC, YouTube, Vevo, Hulu and Spotify, the release said. A live commercial integration will air around "The Late Late Show with James Corden" during the week of Thanksgiving. Gap will also sponsor Spotify's "Pop Christmas" playlist as part of an ongoing partnership with the streaming music service.
Gap is continuing to put a premium on showcasing diversity in its marketing this year with the premise of setting up a blank space where people from different places can come together to "meet in the gap." The holiday piece of the retailer's strategy ties not only to the previous Future/Cher collaboration, but also other efforts including a summer campaign that ditched professional models for real and diverse people from around the country.
These themes of unity and optimism, communicated through music and recognizable stars like Monáe, might hit consumers' sweet spots in time for the key holiday shopping period and come across as a welcome balm to what are otherwise sharply divided times.
The retailer is ensuring it gets a very broad play with a multichannel push that hits on trendy tactics like influencers and heavy digital video elements, along with more traditional advertising. Sponsoring a Christmas Spotify playlist might be an especially smart move, as many of the streaming platform's 140 million active users will surely be listening to some holiday classics in the coming months. The live integration around "The Late Late Show" is another interesting piece of the campaign and follows successful recent brand efforts with the format, including a live commercial from Snickers for the Super Bowl this year.
Many retailers like the Gap are likely eyeing this holiday season nervously as e-commerce competition from Amazon and similar services looms. Parent company Gap Inc. announced in September plans to close 200 underperforming Gap and Banana Republic stores over the next three years. It has appeared as though the more budget-friendly Old Navy will be a greater focus for Gap Inc. going forward.
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